Doug Watson claimed a record seventh UAE trainer’s championship title after Ernst Oertel fell behind at the season-ending meeting at Al Ain.
Oertel needed three winners to overtake Watson after the Red Stables trainer saddled a double at Meydan to take his tally to 40, with more second-place finishes.
However, the South African, a four-time winner of the trainers’ title, managed just one winner in the six races entered at the Garden City.
“I think everyone had a hard year, but I have a great team of people and great support which helps,” Watson, who is out on his own as the trainer with the most championship titles (one more than Satish Seemar), said.
“But we couldn’t have done it without the people that supported us and that feels superb.”
Watson had two runners in the only thoroughbred prize in the seven-race card on Friday. They were both unplaced but it didn’t matter as the American had the title in the bag after the fifth race.
The highlight of the meeting was the double by Tadhg O’Shea, the UAE champion jockey who won an unprecedented ninth crown, taking his season’s tally to 49.
The Irishman steered Oertel’s AF Sourouh to victory and took the thoroughbred prize on board Seemar’s Dubai Canal.
“It was a nice way to end the season by riding a double,” O’Shea said after taking his all-time record wins in the UAE to 602.
“I want to thank the entire team that works behind the scenes: the trainer, jockeys and stable staff, without who all of this wouldn’t be possible.”
Antonio Fresu rode Eric Lemartinel’s Baaher to register his highest wins, 32, in a season in the UAE.
That coupled with a first success in the Dubai World Cup night, claiming the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen on Zenden, and then to finish second behind O’Shea in the jockey’s title rounded off his most successful season in the UAE.
Fresu arrived in Al Ain on the back of a treble in the season’s second last meeting at Meydan on Thursday.