03/26/2016 8:11AM

One Man Band wins Godolphin Mile on front end

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Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club
One Man Band scores by 4 3/4 lengths in the Godolphin Mile on Saturday.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Doug Watson walked out of the Meydan winner’s circle after the Godolphin Mile, did a quick local TV hit, then whirled, slightly flustered, looking for assistance. He spotted John Ferguson of Godolphin, walked up to him, and said, “John, who do I talk to? I’ve never won one of these things!”

Well, Watson, the American expatriate and onetime Kiaran McLaughlin assistant here, not only won his first race on a Dubai World Cup card, he pulled the rare feat of sweeping the top three placings. One Man Band, leading all the way from post 1, was much the best, setting a fast pace and never looking back, as the Watson-trained Faulkner edged the Watson-trained Cool Cowboy for a trifecta sweep.

One Man Band won by 4 3/4 lengths and ran 1,600 meters in 1:35.21, a track record.

Watson said several days ago that all three of his runners in the Grade 2, $1 million Godolphin Mile were live, and he was dead on, but things went less well for his former boss, as the McLaughlin-trained Marking, the odds-on favorite, ran below his best form and finished fourth, beaten almost 10 lengths.

“He’s still immature mentally,” said jockey James Doyle. “He missed the [break] again and then couldn’t take the kickback.”

One Man Band is a one-way horse – the lead or nothing. But that style perfectly suited the way the Meydan dirt track was playing, at least early on this card, the sun still far from setting on a hot day. He did not break on the lead, but Sam Hitchcock, also winning his first World Cup card race, quickly put him in front, guiding him just in front of Marking to get to the rail as the one-mile starting chute linked with the course proper.

From there, nothing much happened, though One Man Band carved out a demanding pace that left his chasers struggling. Nothing ever really got close to him, the only battle being for second, as Faulkner came out to nip the chasing Cool Cowboy.

One Man Band, owned by Sheikh bin Mohammed al Maktoum, is a 5-year-old Irish-bred by Pivotal and out of a Cape Cross mare. Bred for turf, he has taken beautifully to the Meydan dirt track and won Saturday for the eighth time in 15 starts. He paid $13 in North American parimutuel betting.