Drafted proves Car­ni­val cal­i­bre with tough vic­tory at Mey­dan

▶ Colt pro­vides trainer Wat­son sec­ond win of the night

The National - News - - SPORT - AMITH PASSELA

An Amer­i­can horse named Drafted made the ideal prepa­ra­tion for his sec­ond Dubai World Cup Car­ni­val cam­paign when he won the Listed Garhoud Sprint at Mey­dan Race­course on Thurs­day.

Sam Hitch­cott guided the colt to vic­tory in the 1,200-me­tre race with a late run, as the pair edged past Mus­abah Al Muhairi’s Ibn Malik un­der Ben Cur­tis.

“He broke very well,” trainer Doug Wat­son said. “The owner called me to take off the vi­sors be­cause he was break­ing slow last year.

“He broke sharp and Sam gave him a great ride. He got a bit tired in the last half fur­long but still hung on,” he added. “So very proud of him.”

In the process, Wat­son com­pleted a sec­ond win of the night after Hitch­cott had rid­den Pow­der­house to vic­tory in the open­ing race to clinch the Lin­coln MKZ tro­phy.

Wat­son’s Kim­bear fin­ished third in the Garhoud Sprint, and the Amer­i­can han­dler said he knew he had a hard race but would emerge stronger for his next meet­ing at Mey­dan in two weeks’ time.

Mean­while, Pana­ma­nian jockey Fer­nando Jara cel­e­brated his 100th win in the UAE when Key Bid came from last to first to land the fourth race, called the Lin­coln Nav­i­ga­tor, a hand­i­cap race run over 2,000m by horses rated 80-94.

Jara trailed the field and was still a long way be­hind when the run­ners ap­proached the fi­nal bend, but brought Key Bid around a wall of horses be­fore pip­ping Welford and Al­ber­nathy for vic­tory.

“He made his first lo­cal start over the same dis­tance five weeks ago to fin­ish fourth, and we knew he will im­prove from that out­ing,” trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe said. “He looks a horse for the Car­ni­val but we’ll see how he has come out of this race – per­haps give him an­other race and then see where he goes from there.

“He can go even fur­ther than tonight’s dis­tance.”

Walk­ing Thun­der was an im­pres­sive win­ner of the third race, called Lin­coln, run by two year olds over 1,600m.

Trained by Ahmed bin Har­mash and rid­den by Con­nor Beasley, Walk­ing Thun­der went clear on the 400m mark to win by four-and-a-half lengths from Bila Shak and Raayan. “The first time he ran over seven fur­longs and I wanted to teach him a lit­tle bit to see the mile out well,” said Beasley, who notched his eighth win­ner of the sea­son.

“His at­ti­tude is un­be­liev­able for a two year old who has run only twice. He has won both his races com­fort­ably and he’ll go for the next race with more con­fi­dence.” The trainer-jockey com­bi­na­tion, com­pleted a dou­ble when Ro­daini edged out the Satish Seemar-trained Bochart in the con­clud­ing hand­i­cap.

Seemar sad­dled two win­ners un­der dif­fer­ent jock­eys. Richard Mullen rode Heraldic to win the sec­ond race. Tadhg O’Shea pro­duced a late run to beat Wat­son’s Big Brown Bear in the sixth race.

An­tonie Robert­son / The Na­tional

Drafted, No 5, with Sam Hitch­cott on board makes his move past Ibn Malik to pre­vail in a photo fin­ish

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