Feature Story



By Duane Fonseca

UAE-based Doug Watson stamped his name on the Group 2 Godolphin Mile for a third time at Meydan Racecourse Saturday after RRR Racing’s Isolate did as his name suggested and kept himself away and ahead of the pack, never headed under Tyler Gaffalione. The 5yo Mark Valeski entire broke well and hit the front in no time with Yoshito Yahagi’s defending champion Bathrat Leon in close quarters but being worn down steadily by fellow Japan challenger Win Carnelian, trained by Yuichi Shikato.

Isolate travelled strongly throughout and turning for home with the least of urgings from American Gaffalione he stretched fully to finish five and a half lengths clear at the post for a first local success on his third UAE start. His two previous efforts yielded runner-up spots behind Sound Money and Tuz in the 1600m Mahab Al Shimaal and the Al Shindagha Sprint over 1200m, respectively, both Group Three events.

Fellow UAE-trained Law Of Peace, Bhupat Seemar’s charge broke slow, found himself trailing by a massive margin, then encountered immense traffic, but was guided spectacularly with guile into second by the brave hands of Richard Mullen, while Antonio Cintra’s Atletico El Culano took third a further three-quarters adrift with Jose da Silva up.

Bathrat Leon was fourth a further neck back for Yahagi and Ryusei Sakai, while Everfast, another trained by Watson, was fifth, another head in arrears under Oscar Chavez. "I’m just thrilled for Sheikh Rashid (bin Humaid Al Nuaimi) and the whole team at home. I’ve been here for almost 30 years, I’ve progressed from being in charge of the ambulance at the first Dubai World Cup to now having winners on the night.

It’s remarkable,” said Watson, who enjoyed a 1-2-3 in 2016 when winning with One Man Band and a second success when Second Summer won a year later. "It's unbelievable, he’s big and long and you saw the way he broke, he didn't shoot out of the gates: you have to ride him along. Once he gets into his stride, he’s pretty amazing.

Tyler did a great job getting him out and going a nice pace and he stays a mile, we can definitely say that now. I wasn’t quite sure until he turned in and there wasn’t much going with him." Gaffalione added: “I felt it going into the gate. He gave me this unbelievable feeling. He always breaks a step slow, but when I asked him he had so much power and the plan worked perfectly. That was amazing. I’ve always dreamed of winning here and to have achieved it, it's so special.”


1. Isolate (Watson/Gaffalione)
2. Law Of Peace (Seemar/Mullen)
3. Atletico El Culano (Cintra/Silva)