Charlie Appleby eyes Zabeel Mile hat-trick at Dubai World Cup Carnival


Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby is eyeing a third consecutive Zabeel Mile at Dubai World Cup Carnival Week 5 at Meydan on Thursday.

Appleby has three runners in the 11-strong field that also includes Godolphin senior trainer Saeed bin Suroor’s Bedouin’s Story.

Jockey William Buick has chosen D’Bai from the Appleby yard. A Carnival regular, the seven-year-old Dubawi gelding was runner-up in the 1,400m Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort, a race he won in 2019, on his reappearance.

Art du Val (James Doyle) and Velorum (Mickael Barzalona) are Appleby’s two other runners in the race.

“D’Bai ran a very creditable race in the Al Fahidi Fort,” Appleby told the Godolphin website.

“The step up to a mile isn’t too much of a concern, bearing in mind he has won over the distance at Ascot and Pontefract in his younger days. He has never won over shorter than seven furlongs and we feel that his style of racing will be suited to this distance.

“Art du Val put up a solid performance in the Singspiel Stakes, when it looked as though he didn’t quite see out the nine furlongs.

“Velorum was definitely in need of his seasonal return in the Al Fahidi Fort and has come forward for the run. He is an unexposed horse and we are confident that he can be competitive at this level.”

Bin Suroor added: “Bedouin’s Story won nicely at Meydan last time, when he came from the rear under Frankie Dettori. This is a significant step up in class but the mile at Meydan suits him well and we are looking forward to seeing him run another decent race.”

Godolphin also looks to hold leading chances in both the night’s other Group 2 contests on the turf.

Althiqa (Buick) aims to become the fourth consecutive filly in the royal blue silks to follow up victory in the Group 2 Cape Verdi with success in the Group 2 Balanchine.

The Appleby-trained four-year-old stretches out to nine furlongs for the first time following an impressive display in the mile feature on week two of the Carnival.

“We had a question mark over Althiqa getting a mile going into the Cape Verdi but she saw it out well,” Appleby said of the Dark Angel filly.

“Nine furlongs with a penalty is another question but she is the class filly in the field and goes into this in great order.”

Appleby also sends out Summer Romance, fifth in the Cape Verdi.

“That was a bit disappointing from Summer Romance in the Cape Verdi, but she has worked well since and we will race her in a hood. The trip should suit her,” he added.

Bin Suroor has also a pair entered in the race. Dubai Love is the choice of Dettori, and Last Look, who were third and eighth respectively in the Cape Verdi.

“Dubai Love is a tough filly with a touch of class as she displayed winning last year’s UAE 1000 Guineas,” the Emirati said.

“The 1,800m should really suit her and she is in great form. Last Look is a full-sister to Farhh and from a family that improves with age, so this step up in trip looks in her favour.”

Published: February 18, 2021 06:38 AM