Barbecue Eddie sizzles on Meydan sand again
BARBECUE EDDIE, a horse three times older than the racecourse on which he was running, once again showed himself to be master of Meydan as the home-trained track specialist posted the biggest win of his career in the first round of the Al Maktoum Challenge.
Six previous victories at Meydan had confirmed the nine-year-old to be highly effective around racing's most opulent venue but never before had he triumphed in a contest as prestigious as this Group 2 prize, worth over £90,000 to the winner.
The Doug Watson-trained veteran, as popular with locals as any horse based in Dubai, also gave Dane O'Neill his biggest win since becoming owner Hamdan Al Maktoum's number-two rider as he powered through the final furlong to defeat Godolphin's 5-2 favourite Out Of Bounds and the dead-heating Rutland Boy and Fulbright.
A late setback prevented Barbecue Eddie, who began his career in California, from contesting last year's Godolphin Mile, but having produced a personal best performance to complete a four-timer of wins, the World Cup night prize is now his inevitable target.
O'Neill said: "We had a good draw in three as he likes to be near the pace and I was able to get a good lead in.
"I had to get serious with him just over a furlong out but I was always confident we would get there."
Watson added: "This horse has been so great to us over the last four seasons and just loves that Tapeta surface. We were gutted when we could not try him in the Godolphin Mile last season but that is his target again.
"He had not won over a mile before this season but he has proved he stays well. Dane has given him a great ride."
American import Out Of Bounds acquitted himself respectably on his first start since leaving America, where he last raced when winning a Kentucky Derby trial at Santa Anita 12 months ago.