US runner owned by Quarter Moon Ranch wins with jockey Pat Dobbs up
Opening night of the 2018 Dubai World Cup Carnival and the first of seven races was the US $60,000 Al Maktoum Challenge R1 (G1, Purebred Arabians), presented by Longines Equestrian Collection. Like its Thoroughbred counterpart, it was contested over 1600m on the dirt.
A champion and winner of multiple Grade 1 races in America, Paddy’s Day, having his first start for UAE Champion Trainer and U.S. expat Doug Watson, ran out the winner by a neck from Barnamaj. It was a fourth win in the race for the handler.
Well away from stall 13 under Pat Dobbs, he tracked early leader RB Torch until that one weakened fully 500m from home, leaving him in front. He quickened, opening up a sizable advantage before appearing to get a bit lonely in the closing stages. His five previous UAE outings had all been on the turf at Abu Dhabi, where he failed to fire, but was much more at home back on dirt and running left-handed.
“I rode him once at Abu Dhabi and it just did not suit him, but he was very professional tonight,” Dobbs said. “I was left in front too soon, but he had plenty left and I think if they had come to him he would have found more because he is all heart.”
An emotional owner Scott Powell added: “We always believed he was a competitor for the worldwide stage and he has proved it tonight. Doug and all his team have done a great job with him and we are truly delighted. We are just taking his campaign one step at a time and this was the perfect first step.”
The Thoroughbred equivalent, the US$250,000 Al Maktoum Challenge R1 (G2) presented by Longines Gents Master Collection, over 1600m on dirt was won emphatically by Heavy Metal, a second winner on the card for His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, who was present. Saddled by Salem bin Ghadayer and partnered by Mickael Barzalona, Heavy Metal was able to take full advantage of his low draw, stall two, going straight to the front and staying there en route to a nearly five-length victory over favorite and multiple Group 1 winner Thunder Snow with jockey Christophe Soumillon.