Champion Trainer Doug Watson appears to hold a strong hand at Thursday’s fourth Nad Al Sheba meeting of the season, kindly sponsored by Gulf News.

With over AED100,000 available to racegoers courtesy of the free-to-enter tipping competitions, Watson’s runners appear certain to figure prominently among Pick Six contestants.

The American saddles two in the opening 1800m Purebred Arabian GNB Stakes, with his classy Nirwan heading the weights and stable companion Wayne Rooney providing an interesting second option.

Fernando Jara rides Nirwan and Watson explains: “Nirwan is a nice prospect and has not had much racing. He is ready for a run and this looks ideal.

“Wayne Rooney lost all chance at the start last time and is better than that.”

Rod Simpson’s Time Out and the Gill Duffield pair of Markoom and Nesnaas appear the dangers.

In the following 1600m maiden, the Aquarius Trophy, Street Talk, a full-brother to 2002 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry, will be hard to beat.

He has only had one run but trainer Erwan Charpy is hopeful: “He needed that run last season and will need this experience but hopefully he is a decent horse in the making.”

Satish Seemar’s Blues Ballad created a favourable impression when winning on his debut three weeks ago and is strongly fancied to follow-up in the Freehold Weekly Handicap, run over 1500m.

Jockey Richard Mullen said: “That was a very nice first effort and we will find out how good he is this time – but the second horse won last week at Jebel Ali so we have to hope for a big run.”

The 2000m XPRESS Stakes features the first runners for trainer Abdulla bin Huzaim, who saddles both Seeking An Alibi and Cavalarra in a race Dhruba Selvaratnam’s Jaasoos may be hard to beat.

However, Watson appears to hold the key to the final two races with Dark Point strongly fancied to supplement his course and distance win of a fortnight ago in the 1600m GNAds 4U Handicap, while stable companion Clasp was third on that occasion and he will relish the extra 400m in the concluding 2000m XPRESS Stakes.

Watson explained: “I was delighted with both horses last time and both have thrived since.

“They go to the races with big chances and we will hope for at least one winner!”

Thursday’s Gulf News-sponsored card is set to begin at 7pm and there are a number of hospitality options available to suit all tastes and budgets in both the Millennium Grandstand and the Maktoum Grandstand.

Entrance to the public area of the racecourse is free of charge and there are also complimentary transfers to and from Nad Al Sheba from Dubai Marina (by Spinneys), Arabian Ranches (Shopping complex), Wafi (in front of Pyramids) and Emirates Towers (Boulevard entrance by Cartier).

Buses will leave at 6.00pm from these locations, and return departures will be at 10pm from the racecourse.

And off the track, the DRC will be staging the ever-popular BurJuman Ladies Night. Tickets are priced at AED350 per lady.

For further information or tickets for the BurJuman Ladies Night, or any other event or hospitality, please visit; or contact the Hospitality Department at Dubai Racing Club on +971 4 327 0077 or .