Golden Summer for Watson

UAE Champion Trainer Doug Watson kicked off Dubai World Cup night in style as he sent out his second consecutive Godolphin Mile sponsored by Meydan Sobha winner Second Summer (USA). Watson finished first, second and third in the 2016 edition, winning with One Man Band (IRE).

"I didn't quite expect this to happen,” said Watson. “I didn't know if he could act on this ground. I think everybody was in the same boat. We have never had a sealed track over here. I'm sure he had some training on some sealed tracks in America. He came home so nicely.”

Owned by Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Second Summer had only two previous starts at Meydan. The chestnut gelding finished second in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round Round 2 followed by a lacklustre 7th place finish in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3.

Jockey Pat Dobbs, who has been aboard for all three of the gelding’s starts at Meydan, was pleased with the unusual traffic congestion late in the stretch.

"When we turned in he picked up great,” Dobbs said. “I got a nice clear run up the middle. Just as I was going around the American horse (Sharp Azteca {USA}) he shifted out on top of me and he kind of lost his momentum a little bit. But I think that helped him a little bit because he just pulls up in front.”

Watson had the Florida-bred son of Summer Bird meticulously prepared to capture the Godolphin Mile, finishing in 1.35.62. The final time was just off the track record.

Sharp Azteca and North America (GB) both were part of the early running but grew weary in the stretch as Second Summer and eventual second place finisher Ross (IRE) came running late.

Jockey Edgard Zayas knew Sharp Azteca was in trouble from the start.
“He broke slowly. I had to use him up a bit earlier than I wanted. When he kicked on I thought we had it but he got tired in the last 50m. The start cost me.”

The Peter Schiergen trained Ross finished second, a neck behind. Jockey Andrea Atzeni was delighted with the outcome.

“ The track’s riding very fast, but at least it’s not wet,” he said. “The pace was strong. The horse is improving and loves that surface. “He’s getting better with each run and ran a great race.”

Quotes for Group 2 US$1m Godolphin Mile Sponsored by Meydan Sobha

Pat Dobbs (jockey Second Summer (USA), 1st) - "When we turned in he picked up great. I got a nice clear run up the middle. Just as I was going around the American horse he shifted out on top of me and he kind of lost his momentum a little bit. But I think that helped him a little bit because he just pulls up in front.”

Doug Watson, trainer: "I didn't quite expect this to happen. I didn't know if he could act on this ground. I think everybody was in the same boat. We have never had a sealed track over here. I'm sure he had some training on some sealed tracks in America. He came home so nicely. The German horse won outside, our horse won inside. Like Pat said, I don't think he would have liked to have been there a whole lot longer."

Andrea Atzeni (Jockey, Ross (IRE) 2nd) – “ The track’s riding very fast, but at least it’s not wet. The pace was strong. The horse is improving and loves that surface – he’s getting better with each run and ran a great race.”

Edgard Zayas (jockey Sharp Azteca (USA) 3rd) – “He broke slowly. I had to use him up a bit earlier than I wanted. When he kicked on I thought we had it but he got tired in the last 50m. The start cost me.”

Jorge Navarro, trainer – “I knew we were in trouble when I saw him move early.”

Colm O'Donoghue (jockey Fitzgerald (USA) 4th) – “I let him settle along and get comfortable. He finished it off well and it was good to see him do that.”

Yuichi Fukunaga (Jockey, Kafuji Take (JPN) 5th) – “He jumped well from the gate but it was tough for him to chase because the horses in front hung on but. He was in good form and ran his race even on the fast track. The dirt should suit him.”

Sachio Yukubo, trainer - “Well, we didn’t know how he would handle this surface…. He tried his best.”

Pat Cosgrave, (jockey, Farrier (USA) 6th) - “He ran a very solid race.”

Jim Crowley (jockey, Etijaah (USA) 7th) - “He was running over too short a distance. He’ll be a nice horse later on the year. The track is riding quick.”

Mickael Barzalona (jockey Heavy Metal (GB) 8th) - “I was disappointed. There’s nothing else to say.”

Hugo Palmer (trainer, Gifted Master (IRE) 9th) – “I think we know now he’s a 1400m horse on dirt. He ran well but Ryan (Moore, jockey) said when the horse in front went wrong he sat up.”

Richard Mullen (jockey North America (GB) 10th) - “He was never going on the surface. The track was too quick.”

Michael Rodd (jockey, Triple Nine (KOR) 11th) - “They went very fast and I finished a long way back.”

Tadhg O'Shea, (jockey, Le Bernardin (USA) 12th)- “We were never travelling from the gate and he’s gone after 100 yards. I was very kind on him in the straight.”