Feature Story

Colour Up paints a winning picture for Watson, Hitchcott

Colour Up paints a winning picture for Watson, Hitchcott Dec 9, 2023

By Duane Fonseca - 

Bhupat Seemar might have claimed the plaudits among the trainers on Friday night’s bumper nine-race card at Meydan Racecourse, but it was Doug Watson who swept up the feature after Colour Up caused a whitewash of the rest of his nine rivals in the Listed Garhoud Sprint.

The race was the second of three legs of the Emirates Sprint Series and was contested at a fierce pace with the five-year-old Mehmas gelding absolutely cruising to the front under Sam Hitchcott to end champion trainer Watson’s relatively long wait for a second win of the campaign.

Red Stables boss Watson had last made an appearance on the podium over a month ago on November 4 after Rayig’s win in a handicap at Jebel Ali. But his luck changed Friday night after Colour Up claimed a third victory over Meydan’s 1200m dirt strip, hitting the front early in the straight and pulling clear to win by a length-and-a-half from Bhupat Seemar’s Leading Spirit (Pat Cosgrave), who closed in late, with Saleymm (Ben Coen) a further half length back in third for Michael Costa.

It was Watson’s third Garhoud Sprint success after winning the 2016 and 2018 runnings with My Catch and Drafted respectively. 

Meanwhile, Seemar’s Zabeel Stables fired on all cylinders to claim a hat-trick, champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea riding his first two winners and Jim Crowley obliging with a third after Bahraini trainer Fawzi Nass opened his account for the season following a terrific ride from Adrie de Vries, who steered RB Rich Lyke Me to victory in the PA Group 2 Madjani Stakes, the opening event of the evening, by four-and-a-half lengths from RB Frynchh Dude (Abubakar Daud/Qais Al Busaidi) with  Deryan (Majed Al Jahoori/Bernardo Pinheiro) a further two lengths back in third.

Seemar started with a 1-2-3 in the Azizi Creek Views 1600m maiden Nevershow Weakness heading a trio that comprised Mezzotinto (Andrew Slattery) and Arabian Tale (Richard Mullen). Then after Nass and De Vries claimed their second of the night with Watch My Six shedding his maiden tag in the Azizi Grand 2200m handicap (65-85), Seemar and O’Shea struck for the second time, Killer Collect bringing the pair success in the Mina by Azizi Conditions event over 1600m, which the Collected colt won on his second racecourse appearance by a massive seven and a half lengths from Ahmad bin Harmash’s Valdivia (Connor Beasley).

Seemar combined with Crowley for his third, Laasudood supplying the pair with victory in the Azizi Riviera 1400m handicap (70-90), which was won on the line from Rayed (Julio Olascoaga/Cristian Demuro). 

After Watson claimed the feature, Olascoaga claimed his second of the season with Ajuste Fiscal (Jose da Silva) thwarting the advances of Made In Dubai (Salem bin Ghadayer/Xavier Ziani) on the line. 

Taakeed brought the curtains down on the evening, winning the card-ending 1200m Beach Oasis handicap (56-75) for trainer Michael Costa and jockey Ben Coen, after Al Jaddaf claimed a second win in as many starts when landing the Azizi Reve 1600m handicap (60-80) for Bin Harmash and Beasley.