Trainer Doug Watson expressed great pleasure in the breakout performance of Irish-bred My Catch in last Thursday’s Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint, the 1200m contest was a serious step toward the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen, also sponsored by the leading daily English language newspaper.
“I was really happy with how he ran and he really likes to be down on the rail,” Watson said. “We’d like to go on to Super Saturday with him and hopefully he runs that well again, so we can get into the Shaheen. He’s training very well.”
At age seven, the son of Camacho has found new life after a career with plenty of breaks in training. Owned by Valentin Bukhtoyarov and Evgeny Kappushev, the bay gelding failed to hit the board in last year’s Dubai Golden Shaheen, but entered the race on a three-month rest, unlike this year.
Next on the dirt sprint schedule is the Group 3 Mahab Al Shamal on the 10th of March over the same course and distance as both his Al Shindagha Sprint victory and the Dubai Golden Shaheen.
Watson also said that Rayya came out of her second-place effort in the Listed UAE 1000 Guineas in top order and he will likely move on to the Group 3 UAE Oaks on the 1st of March over 1900m. Such will be her first attempt beyond 1600m and around two turns.
“I was happy with her effort, but wasn’t pleased with her on the night because she was a little more wired,” Watson explained. “She was not as settled as she was in her first two starts. I don’t know that she had her best day, but I don’t want to take anything from (winner Winter Lightning) or Expressiy, who ran well to be third. I’ll look at her over the next couple weeks and look at the Oaks, obviously. I’m pretty sure she’ll get the trip just fine. She’s still growing.”