Watson and Dobbs combine for a Sunday treble at Meydan Racecourse

Racing at Meydan on Sunday, a non-carnival meeting, was highlighted by a pair of turf handicaps, the first of which, over 2000m, became a duel over the final 350m when Withering hit the front under Adrie de Vries, stalked by Pat Dobbs aboard Al Nayyir.

The latter, a Godolphin-bred 5yo Dubawi gelding trained by Doug Watson for Elbashir Salem Elhrari, gained the initiative, winning for a third time this season, adding this to a 2000m dirt victory and a scintillating 2400m turf success, completing doubles on the card for jockey and trainer.

Dobbs said: “He was a horse we were looking forward to this season as he has plenty of ability and a lovely pedigree. He is improving and hopefully can continue to do so in a better grade.”

Earlier, a 1600m turf maiden developed into a scrap between Made In Dubai and Sari Dubai with the latter, racing on grass for the first time, outbattling his rival, who looked the likely winner when hitting the front, responding gallantly to the urgings of Dobbs in the colours of Saeed Sultan Al Rahoomi for Watson.

Runner-up in half of his six previous starts, all on dirt and including his two most recent outings, the 4yo Creative Course colt was certainly not winning out of turn.

Dobbs said: “He has really fought hard but, looking back, we have probably been a bit too positive on him in his dirt races and everything has gone perfectly tonight.”

Watson and Dobbs were celebrating a treble after a 1900m dirt handicap, Qareb landing the spoils for Naser Askar having outpointed a determined Grand Dubai throughout the majority of the straight, the pair locking horns, neither backing down in a fierce tussle.

Sharing top billing, a 1400m turf handicap was won by Godolphin’s only runner on the card, Open Mind, a 4yo Cable Bay gelding confidently ridden by Danny Tudhope for Saeed bin Suroor, connections who celebrated a carnival double on Friday.

It was a first turf success for Tudhope’s mount, at the fifth attempt with his both previous career victories registered on the Chelmsford all-weather surface, including his most recent UK appearance, over 1200m, in late September.

Tudhope said: “He is slowly improving this horse and this trip or back at 1200m suits him. I rode him in the UK when not beaten far on soft ground but this quicker surface has suited him.”

The meeting kicked off with the sole Purebred Arabian contest on the card, a conditions race over 1600m, which proved a memorable occasion for apprentice Connor Planas who partnered his first UAE winner in the shape of RB Seqondtonone for Helal Alalawi and Byerley Racing.

Planas said: “Obviously it is nice to get that winner on the board and especially the first one being here at Meydan.”

A 1200m dirt handicap proved a straightforward assignment for Magic Petition, a 3yo Good Magic colt and previously a maiden after three starts, trained by Ahmed bin Harmash for Mohammed Ahmad Ali Al Subousi.

Ray Dawson was in the saddle and he said: “We were pretty hopeful coming into a handicap for the first time, especially with a good draw. It all worked out perfectly and he can, hopefully, progress as that was competitive enough for the grade.”

The finale, a 1000m turf handicap, was dominated by the two Bhupat Seemar runners, Pat Cosgrave and Leading Spirit staying on too strongly for stablemate Ranaan, the mount of Tadhg O’Shea.