Watson hopes to beat odds at Dubai World Cup – News

“I have a team of five people heading to the big day. They are a good group,’ said Watson

Mubakker will fight for glory in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile, a race Doug Watson has won twice with One Man Band (2016) and Second Summer (2017).

By Leslie Wilson Jr.

Published: Sun 20 Mar 2022, 11:59 PM

A positive mindset leads to positive results and perhaps no one knows that better than former champion coach Doug Watson as he prepares to lead a five-man squad in the Cup meeting Dubai World Cup at $30.5 million on Saturday.

It’s been nearly three decades since he arrived in Dubai as a starving newlywed hoping to carve out a career on the country’s burgeoning flat racing circuit.

Watson has been rewarded for his patience and perseverance as he now commands one of the UAE’s premier racing teams, the championship-winning Red Stables, in the very heart of Dubai.

On Saturday, the American, whose big smile is his trademark, hopes to successfully complete months of dedication and hard work during the centerpiece of Meydan.

“I have a team of five before the big day,” Watson said. “They’re a nice bunch.”

The progressive Mubakker will be joined by last year’s Golden Goal runner-up in Group 2 Godolphin Mile, a race Watson has won twice with One Man Band (2016) and Second Summer (2017).

Mubakker finished second in the G2 Burj Nahar on Super Saturday, while Golden Goal finished eighth in the same race, after winning the first round of the Al Maktoum Challenge.

“Both horses are in great shape but a lot depends on the draw because there are 16 horses in there,” Watson said. “But they are in great shape.

“Both worked this morning and worked very, very well, so I’m happy with them

“Mubakker ran very well after a bad draw at Burj Nahaar, while Golden Goal was targeted after the race with mucus. But he’s better so they’ll probably be our best chance to win on Saturday night.

Among the rivals the Watson duo would face is Al Nefud, trained by Bhupat Seemar, a much-loved son of Dubawiwho. Al Nefud finished second to Secret Ambition, winner of the Godolphin Mile last year and main competitor of the Dubai World Cup in the second round of the Al Maktoum Challenge.

The American is also hoping that G3 Dubawi Stakes hero Al Tariq and American import Everfast can deliver him first success in the G1 Golden Shaheen, one of two exciting sprint contests on the nine-race card.

Al Tariq finished fourth at Mahab Al Shimaal, a preparation for the Golden Shaheen while Everfast finished third at Hypothetical in the final stage of the Al Maktoum Challenge.

“After running in the Al Shindagha Sprint (3rd), he was a bit flat going into the Mahab Al Shimaal,” Watson said. “But he has really come in the last 10 days and is doing very well. Again the draw is going to be very important.

“Everfast is falling back into travel, so we were going to put on the blinders. He conquered every trip to America where his last lap was over seven furlongs in Saratoga,” he added. “So I would expect him to come close to racing and hopefully he will have a big race.”

Watson’s preference is for training dirt horses, but has an interesting contender in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint in the form of Shadwell-owned Khzuzam, who could be a long shot in a race where Charlie Appleby saddles the favorites ante-post, Man Of Promise and creative force.

Kitten’s Joy son Kuzaaam caught the eye as he raced home in the Jebel Ali Sprint on his last outing on February 27 and Watson hopes the six-year-old can pull off his impressive morning work when he will line up in the 1200 meter sprint.

“They haven’t sprinted him in the UK, he’s run on turf before,” Watson said.

“We went (to Meydan) last week and he had a good lap on the grass. He also worked very well this morning.

“He’s a bit of an unknown but what he showed us at home is very good and we hope for a good place in the race.”

Hopefully, Watson and his tight-knit Red Stables team can be rewarded for the long hours they put in all year, with a hit or two on Saturday.

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