Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 30 November 2020

Trainer Doug Watson bags another treble at Jebel Ali

Jockey Sam Hitchcock completes the hat-trick in the saddle again

Sam Hitchcock steers Gabr to victory from Eqtiraan. Courtesy Dubai Horse Racing Information Centre
Sam Hitchcock steers Gabr to victory from Eqtiraan. Courtesy Dubai Horse Racing Information Centre

Red Stables trainer Doug Watson continued his superb Jebel Ali form with another treble on Friday mirroring his success of a fortnight before.

Sam Hitchcock, who rode all three winners for him that day, was in the saddle again to complete the hat-trick.

Gabr, in the silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, landed the day’s feature prize while Just A Penny and Torno Subito, both owned by Khalifa Al Basti, took the next two races to take Watson’s tally to seven winners in six meetings.

Gabr won twice in Britain when trained by Michael Stoute but this was a first success in the UAE at the fifth attempt after three turf outings at Meydan and one in Abu Dhabi.

“He has always shown a lot at home, but not so much in his races for us and this was a good spot to try him here at Jebel Ali,” Watson said of the five-year-old Intello gelding.

“He obviously handled it so it gives us options. He stays 2,000m, so I was happy 1,600m here would suit him and I am very pleased with the horse and for Sheikh Hamdan.”

Just A Penny was recording his ninth success on the track and Watson added: “He just loves this track as we all know and he really takes that bend so well which saves ground and is a big help around here.”

Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid’s $430,000 purchase Shamikh made a winning racecourse debut to take the Jebel Ali Stables trainer Nicholas Bachalard off the mark for the season.

The American bred colt by Lea raced prominently with the leading group before coming home to win by a length from Welcome Surprise ridden by Dane O’Neill.

“He has been training really nicely in the morning, so we always knew he had plenty of ability and I am just delighted for the whole team to get the first winner of the season on the board, everyone has worked very hard,” Bachalard said.

“He will probably stay further and we might try him at Meydan as well, but this was a nice first race for him.”

Updated: November 14, 2020 10:16 AM

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