Breeders' Cup Winner Thor's Echo Beaten in First Start in Dubai

Making his first start under new ownership, TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Thor's Echo finished sixth to fellow American-bred Terrific Challenge in the March 1 Mahab Al Shimaal (UAE-III) at Nad al Sheba.

Terrific Challenge and Thor's Echo were both purchased privately by Sheikh Mohammed's eldest son, Sheikh Rashid at the end of last year.

In the Mahab Al Shimaal, Bounty Quest was 1 1/4 lengths back in second, with Lascaux a head behind in third. Terrific Challenge completed the about six-furlong distance in 1:09.66

Doug Watson conditions both Terrific Challenge and Bounty Quest.

Terrific Challenge was settled well off the early pace in the six-furlong Mahab Al Shimaal where he picked up in the final two furlongs to lead close home.

A 5-year-old son of Royal Academy, Terrific Challenge won his eighth race in 19 career starts for new trainer Doug Watson. He was most recently trained by Stanley Hough. 

“We deserved a change of luck at the Carnival and that is a great result," Watson said.  "It was a good performance, as it was his first start on a straight track.”

Previously owned by Royce Jaime and Suarez Racing and trained by Doug O'Neill,  Thor's Echo (Swiss Yodeler-Helen of Troy, by Mr. Integrity) was sold to Sheikh Rashid, after winning the Nov. 25 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I). He is now trained by Satish Seemar.

Thor's Echo has a career record of 5-4-5 in 19 career starts. He has earned $2,372,990.

Thor's Echo has been pointed toward the $2-million Golden Shaheen (UAE-I)  on the World Cup program March 31. Thor's Echo finished second to Proud Tower Too in last year's Golden Shaheen.