There’s still one final meeting to go of the UAE season, but it would take a fairly amazing feat from Ernst Oertel to grab the trainers’ title now so I think we can safely congratulate Doug Watson on a record eighth championship. He capped it off with Isolate’s Godolphin Mile win, Doug’s third in that event, and in RRR’s star the Red Stables team have an exciting horse to look forward to for the 2023-24 season.
Where there’s a winner, there are always plenty who miss out, so we can also congratulate runnerup Bhupat Seemar on an excellent campaign and also on providing an unusual highlight of Dubai World Cup day. One of the more successful social media posts of the meeting was Bhupat’s emotional interview on the World Feed coverage after Switzerland was beaten a short-head in the Dubai Golden Shaheen.
Our reigning Champion Trainer is an extremely cool guy, so seeing him choked up provided a human angle to the race. It does no harm for those watching to see just how much these horses mean to those who work with them every day. They lost the race, but this was still a big victory for racing in Dubai and how it is perceived on a global stage.
Another unexpected social media highlight of the week was the emergence of Quarantine Manager John Nicholls as a Twitter star. John is a very popular member of the DRC Team and his no nonsense approach has enabled the safe stays of thousands of international equine visitors during their time in Dubai.
The job gives him a unique insight into what happens behind the scenes, which he conveyed in a series of entertaining Tweets. As someone who has never worked in a yard, I found it fascinating. Give @JohnNico49 a follow if you haven’t already. Another highlight of DWC week was a visit by the media to Dar Al Khail, DRC’s Rehoming and Rehabilitation Centre.
A press conference conducted by Major General Mohammed Essa Al Adhab, General Manager of Dubai Racing Club, shone the light on the centre and the great work done there by Manager Heather Copland, Foreman Rehan Mirza and the team. The group of international media who visited the centre loved it and will hopefully spread the word that in Dubai we’re looking after our horses for the whole of their lives, not just the few years while they are racing.