Dirt Still In Play For Pakistan Star

December 9, 2020

Pakistan Star prior to finishing 4th in The Entisar (Erika Rasmussen)

The enigma that is Pakistan Star persists following his fourth in Thursday’s The Entisar (Listed) at Meydan–his first start in 382 days. The 7-year-old son of Shamardal appeared in prime position throughout the 10-furlong dirt affair, despite the glacial pace, but could not kick on when the real running started and backed up to split a three-way photo for third. Trainer Doug Watson, who was having his first run with the multiple turf G1 winner, was not discouraged by his first try on dirt and has allowed the sizable charge to come out of his run and regroup appropriately this week.

“He came out great, but probably the year layoff got to him,” Watson said. “He’s fine, I just think he blew up (got tired). He was hanging right the whole way around there on the turns, but I can’t say that’s why he got tired. I had worked him out of the gate and thought he was fit, but we’re still getting to know him. He always works very well.” 

A return to the dirt could happen in the future–perhaps in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge R2–but first a return to the green stuff and a wider, sweeping bend will likely occur. 

“We’ll probably go to the (Group 2) Singspiel (on Jan. 21) and see how he does against Godolphin, but I have no qualms running him on the dirt again,” Watson said. “We’ll pick our spots after the Singspiel. He’s a quirky horse, looking at everything, so we will also put the headgear back on him. They’re sending that over (from Hong Kong) and he’ll be ready to go for the 21st.”

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