Dubai: Red stable trainer Doug Watson believes Meandre’s run in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan this Saturday represents his finest chance of ending an 11-year wait for a win on World Cup night.
The American came closest to honours in 2010 when Gold Coast finished second in the Godolphin Mile, but he now hopes to go one better with six-year-old Meandre, who tops the list of Watson’s five runners across the nine races this weekend.
Meandre was a noteweorthy second behind Songcraft in the Ford Edge Trophy last month at Meydan and fourth in the Dubai City of Gold behind Excellent Result at the same venue on Super Saturday. Providing Meandre can get a good draw, Watson believes he can end his jinx on the world’s most lucrative night in racing.
“Meandre got beaten by Songcraft by a length and a quarter after drawing gate 14 of 14,” said Watson. “Anything non double digits on World Cup night would be great, so he doesn’t have to expend that energy getting up and over. It could be a different story and he might make up some of those lengths that he’s been losing.
“If things go right for him, he could win the race. He’s a very exciting prospect for us. He’s one of our better chances, he just needs to draw well.”
Watson also has My Catch in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, Cooptado in the UAE Derby, Limario in the Godolphin Mile and Dux Scholar in the Al Quoz Sprint, a collective that he insists should break his barren run.
“I wouldn’t say it’s frustrating but we are dying to get a winner,” said Watson said of his wait for honours on World Cup night. “I don’t think we’ve been unlucky either. It’s about having the right horses.
“I believe Green Coast was our best chance but he ran up against a tough horse at the time in Calming Influence. I’ve run some 15-1 shots in the World Cup before but overall — top to bottom — this is the best group of horses we’ve ever had on World Cup night.”