Feature Story

Whistle-stop tour still provides names to remember

Whistle-stop tour still provides names to remember Dec 6, 2023

Laura King - 

I just spent a whistle-stop five days in Dubai, speaking to as many trainers as possible about their hopes for the season (big thanks to all who agreed to chat!). 
Quality-wise we could be in for a treat towards the business end of the Carnival, with several new recruits to look forward to.

Eight-time Champion Trainer Doug Watson is purring about Godolphin Mile winner Isolate, who makes his reappearance on December 22 in the G2 Maktoum Mile. 
“He’s moving even better than last season, so we’re looking forward to getting him started,” said Watson, who has also taken over the training of fellow RRR horse Sound Money, who likely heads to the Dubawi Stakes on January 5.

Isolate will probably meet Al Nefud in the Maktoum Mile, although trainer Bhupat Seemar is a little concerned about the turnaround time between races of just 
four weeks.

“He had a very long time off, more than 600 days, and they say they can bounce,” he said. “That’s his target, but it’s going to be a hot race, which is what the public wants to see.”

Trainer Michael Costa has been the man to follow so far this season and he and jockey Ben Coen have formed a potent partnership. Of all his winners so far, he nominated Jebel Ali maiden scorer Marsoom as one to watch. 

“He was very professional, very sharp and he really caught the eye,” said Costa. “He’s had a little break now as we 
don’t want to over face him. He’s going to be our sprinter 
and go to the three-year-old turf races.”

Julio Olascoaga’s first season success has been recognised with support from some big owners, with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa, RRR and Ahmed Al Shaikh among those to send horses to his Green Stables base. He has a select band of juveniles, of which Oasis Boy, a son of UAE Triple Crown winner Asiatic Boy, is one he’s looking forward to.

“Oasis Boy arrived just a few weeks ago and we’re super happy with how he’s doing,” he said. “He’s likely to be aimed at the Guineas Trial or go straight to the Guineas.”
Mohammed Mardood is a name we’ll be hearing more of and the young Emirati trainer has nine horses for this season. One he seems to like is Lattaash which means “boss man” in English. “He’s called boss man for a reason!”
Watch this space!