Doug Watson dominates Firebreak Stakes at Meydan

Godolphin, Tadhg O’Shea and Bhupath Seemar also win at Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting

Tadhg O’Shea on Franz Strauss won on sloppy underfoot conditions in the fourth Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting on Friday, January 27, 2023. Photo: Adiyat Racing Plus
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Doug Watson was left celebrating in the rain after saddling the first three home in the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes, the highlight of week four of the Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting at Meydan on Friday.

Sam Hitchcock on Prince Eiji turned the 1,600-metre race a competition among the stable companions after shadowing early leader Mickael Barzalona and Ever Given.

Hitchcock took over the running at the halfway mark and raced home to win from Pat Dobbs atop Everfast and Adrie de Vries onboard Thegreatcollection by a length and-a-quarter and half-a-length on sloppy underfoot conditions.

The seven-year-old Dubawi gelding in the silks of Sheikh Mohammed Obaid was winning for the second time in three starts in the season.

He was successful over the track and trip on his reappearance in the Listed Dubai Creek Mile in December and unplaced over the same course and distance in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round-1 in his next start in January.

“Obviously it is a great result for the whole team and Sheikh Mohammed Obaid,” seven-time UAE champion trainer Watson said.

“It was nice to see the winner bounce back, Everfast has run very well and Thegreatcollection was staying on. It was a fantastic result and Prince Eiji had a lovely tow into the race and has done that in style.”

Tadhg O’Shea and Bhupat Seemar combined to land a double on the night, claiming the 1,900m dirt handicap with Franz Strauss for Greg Bryce.

The jockey and trainer were back in the winner’s enclosure after the finale, a 1,400m dirt handicap, this time combing with Al Rashid Stables whose silks were carried to victory aboard Western Symphony.

Godolphin picked up two of the four prizes they had their runners in the eight-race card.

Saeed bin Suroor’s Mawj, under Patrick Cosgrave, just held on to clinch the Jumeirah Fillies Classic from fellow Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby’s Dream Of Love with William Buick in the saddle.

It was a third career success for the filly, winner of the 1,200m Group 2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at York in July last year.

“I started to ask her for an effort too early in all probability, especially on that ground, but she has a touch of class which has saved the day,” Cosgrave said.

Class prevailed in the Jumeirah Classic, a turf Listed race over 1,800m for three year olds, with Godolphin’s Naval Power leading the first three home for the royal blues.

The homebred Teofilo colt with a rating of 110 arrived after suffering his first defeat in five starts, in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, in early October, and bounced back in style to win from stable companions One Nation and Highbank by a length and-a-quarter and three lengths and three quarter respectively.


6pm: Festival City Stakes – Conditions (TB) $60,000 (Dirt) 1,900m; Winner: Lahresh, Antonio Fresu (jockey), Musabah Al Muhairi (trainer)

6.35pm: Dubai Sprint – Listed (TB) $100,000 (Turf) 1,200m; Winner: Coachello, Pat Dobbs, Gordon Elliott

7.10pm: Race 3 – Handicap (TB) $75,000 (D) 1,900m; Winner: Franz Strauss, Tadhg O’Shea, Bhupat Seemar

7.45pm: Jumeirah Fillies Classic – Conditions (TB) $100,000 (T) 1,400m; Winner: Mawj, Patrick Cosgrave, Saeed bin Suroor

8.20pm: Zabeel Turf – Handicap (TB) $100,000 (T) 2,000m; Winner: Good Fortune, Theo Bachelot, Soren Jensen

8.55pm: Firebreak Stakes – Group 3 (TB) $150,000 (D) 1,600m; Winner: Prince Eiji, Sam Hitchcott, Doug Watson

9.30pm: Jumeirah Classic – Listed (TB) $150,000 (T) 1,800m; Winner: Naval Power, William Buick, Charlie Appleby

10.05pm: Race 8 – Handicap (TB) $75,000 (D) 1,400m; Winner: Western Symphony, Tadhg O’Shea, Bhupat Seemar

Updated: January 28, 2023, 6:44 AM