Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 19 September 2020

Godolphin target another featured prize in Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan

Charlie Appleby pins his hopes on Magic Lily and Divine Image

Magic Lily, left, ridden by James Doyle won the Cape Verdi at the World Cup Carnival at Meydan on Thursday. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Magic Lily, left, ridden by James Doyle won the Cape Verdi at the World Cup Carnival at Meydan on Thursday. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Godolphin scooped every featured prize in the Dubai World Cup Carnival meetings barring the Group Three Dubawi Stakes in the opening fixture in which they didn’t have a runner.

The royal blues will be gunning for another on Week 7 with a trio entered in the Group Two Balanchine Meydan on Thursday.

Charlie Appleby is double-handed with Magic Lily and Divine Image, and Saeed bin Suroor has Dubai Blue in the field of eight challenging for the $250,000 (Dh918,000) prize.

Highly regarded by the connections, Magic Lily missed the entire 2018 season after two starts because of an injury.

In her reappearance, she finished as runner-up in the Listed Prix Dahlia in Saint Cloud in France in October last year and was sixth in another Listed race at Lingfield Park a month later.

Benefiting from those two runs, Magic Lily found her winning formula in the Group Two Cape Verdi in the Carnival’s third fixture at Meydan on January 16.

“Magic Lily has come out of the Cape Verdi well,” Appleby told godolphin.com of the five-year-old New Approach mare.

“We were always expecting that she would come on for that run and the signs at home have been good. We feel that she will appreciate the step up to nine furlongs.”

William Buick, the first-choice jockey for Appleby, has opted for Magic Lily and James Doyle, who was on board in her success in the last start, is atop Divine Image.

“Divine Image has only had one start on turf but that was on soft ground, so I think we can put a line through that performance,” Appleby added.

Joining the Appleby pair is Bin Suroor’s Dubai Blue who was last of the eight behind Magic Lily in her most recent start.

“This looks a very tough race but we decided to give her a chance and I am hoping for a better effort this time,” Bin Suroor said of the More Than Ready filly.

The Firebreak Stakes, the main supporting race, appears to be a fascinating contest led by the Salem bin Ghadayer-trained Capezzano, last year’s Group One Al Maktoum Challenge Round-3 winner from the dual Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Storm by more than nine lengths.

“I delayed this horse and didn’t use him at all in training until the end of September,” Bin Ghadayer who has also entered Matterhorn and Heavy Metal in the race, said.

“He’s a Bernardini (the sire), is always keen and I made a programme for him that is just February and March to keep his big performances saved for the big nights."

Doug Watson too has three entered with last year’s Firebreak winner Muntazah, newcomer Quip and Thegreatcollection.

American import Quip is a winner of a couple of Group Two prizes in the US before being purchased by Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid.

“Obviously, he has the form in the States, other than those last two starts, when he went a little wrong,” Watson said of the five-year-old son of Distorted Humor.

“He’s had a break and his work since coming back has been fantastic. He is pretty athletic and breaks well. I think everything is going for him. Whether he needs the run, I don’t know, but I think he stacks up well in this race.”

Muntazah has needed a prep race, as in the past two seasons, and he comes off with such a run under his belt – fourth in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 on January 9.

“I’m really pleased with Muntazah, who always takes a run to get ready – just a big, massive animal who weighs at least 550kgs,” Watson said.

Another one to keep an eye on in the $200,000 contest is Satish Seemar’s Secret Ambition.

Tadhg O’Shea’s mount is on the back of two excellent runs, winning the Listed Dubai Creek Mile and beaten by a short head by Kimbear in the Group Two Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2.

Updated: February 12, 2020 02:18 PM

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