Charlie Appleby aims higher after Barney Roy's clinical win in Group Two Al Rashidiya at Meydan
Godolphin sweep first four places in $250,000 turf race during Dubai World Cup Carnival Week 5
Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby is looking at Group One Jebel Hatta for Barney Roy after his fluent win in the Group Two Al Rashidiya at Meydan on Thursday.
The six-year-old gelded son of Excelebration, under William Buick, led a Godolphin sweep of the first four places in the $250,000 (Dh 918,000) turf race on the Dubai World Cup Carnival’s Week 5 fixture.
“He came in here with a bit to work on,” Appleby said of Barney Roy’s first run in more than seven months.
“He’s a very lightly framed horse, so we don’t do much with him. He was fresh in the paddock and for the first half of the race, but once he got into it, I was always hopeful that his class would prevail and that is what we’ve seen at the end.”
Buick kept Barney Roy in mid-division before making smooth progress 600m out and then led half way down from there to win from Saeed bin Suroor’s Dream Castle by two and-a-quarter lengths.
“That will hopefully take the freshness out of him now and hopefully we can work backward from the (Group One) Jebel Hatta (on Super Saturday, March 7),” Appleby added.
“All being well, it is one step at a time. We’ll get Super Saturday out of the way and hopefully we can book ourselves a slot for Dubai World Cup night.
“Visually, from what we’ve seen there, you’d be quite happy to step up to 10 furlongs. He was just touched off in the (2017 Group One) Juddmonte (International at York racecourse) and is a class animal.
"It’s just nice to see him back to his winning ways this evening. Hopefully he’ll gain a bit of confidence there and we can tiptoe toward Super Saturday.”
Buick, who was riding Barney Roy for only the second time in his 11 career starts, acknowledged he was quietly confident of the horse’s chances.
“He’s very energetic, as you saw, and it wasn’t a concern at all really,” he said. “He relaxed nice in the race.
“He’s been off for a while, so he’s entitled to be a little bit fresh, but I suppose in many ways, that’s a performance you want to see from a horse with his previous form and his class.
“It was a good performance from a long layoff and he’s a horse with a lot of gears who will be prepped for the Dubai World Cup night, hopefully.”
Soumillon said Dream Castle ran much better than last time. “He jumped out of the gate quite well,” he said. “I think the cheek pieces helped him to be more concentrated today.
“When I came into the straight, I thought he would win easy, but when Barney went, he couldn’t accelerate with him. I think with a race like today, he should improve for the next one.”
Appleby completed a double when the UAE champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea produced a late run on Secret Advisor to land the Meydan Cup, a Listed handicap on turf, 35 minutes later.
The 2018 Derby runner up Dee Ex Bee could finish only fifth in that race but his handler Salem bin Ghadayer remained confident he’ll improve in his next race.
“I am certain he’ll come from this run,” Bin Ghadayer said. “He wasn’t 100 per cent for this race but we didn’t have any other race for him in the entire Carnival programme, so we ran him tonight.”
Updated: January 30, 2020 09:56 PM