Whilst many eyes were on Cheltenham, it proved a memorable night for Touch Gold, who recorded a double at Meydan on Thursday with wins for Welford and Speedy Move.
Welford added to his 1m success earlier in the season with success over 11f. Freshened up after a busy campaign, he sat just off the leader throughout and once switched by Richie Mullen, found enough to run out a cosy 1/2 length winner. A 160,000aed purchase at the April 2017 Racing In Dubai sale, Welford has been a real money spinner over the year, taking his season earnings to around 300,000aed, having made the frame on all 6 starts at Meydan. A 4lb rise puts him up to 88, on the brink of Carnival level. He’s a dream horse as a syndicate, one who always tries his heart out and he remains unexposed over 10f+.
Speedy Move landed the penultimate race, the 7f handicap and it was a very emotional scene in the winner’s enclosure for owners Touch Gold and Sean Ewing. The recent loss of Raven’s Corner was a big blow and getting a win out of his half-brother meant a hell of a lot to everyone.
Speedy had been knocking on the door for a long while now, especially off his much lower dirt mark and he got the perfect ride by Tadhg O’Shea. Ridden a lot more patiently than often the case, he tracked a strong gallop on the rail, before making up ground on the bend and finding plenty to win going away by 1 1/4 lengths. He in turn recorded comfortably the fastest 7f time of the season, and will remain well handicapped after a 5lb rise. It was also brilliant to get a winner for Tadhg in his quest to become the winningmost Jockey in UAE history, his success here putting him level with Richard Hills.
Many thanks must go to all those at Zabeel, particularly Satish, Bhupat and Caroline (who rides out Welford), Sattar (Speedy’s work rider), and all the staff there. It was a special evening, one we won’t forget in a hurry.