Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 February 2020

Magic Lily shines for Godolphin with track-record run at Dubai World Cup Carnival

Jockey James Doyle sealed a double after steering Simon Crisford’s Roulston Scar to victory in the opener

Magic Lily, left, ridden by James Doyle, races to victory at Meydan. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Magic Lily, left, ridden by James Doyle, races to victory at Meydan. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Godolphin’s Magic Lily is back in the spotlight after winning the Group Two Cape Verdi in a track-record time in Dubai World Cup Carnival’s Fixture-3 at Meydan on Thursday.

The royally bred five-year-old mare prevailed over the Japanese trainer Hiroo Shimizu’s Nisreen in a photo finish to land the feature prize of the six-race card.

Magical Lily won her debut race by eight lengths and placed third in the Group One Fillies Mile behind Laurens in her next start, both at Newmarket, before an injury ruled her out for 721 days.

On her comeback trail, the Charlie Appleby-trained mare was runner-up to Lanana in the Listed Prix Dahlia at the Saint Cloud racecourse in France in October and sixth in another Listed event at Lingfield Park in November before flown into Dubai.

“I had my head down to ride and didn’t think we’d got up [to win], but she’s tough and very game,” said the winning jockey James Doyle.

“It didn’t go entirely our way. The plan was to lead or if not, be very close, which is what happened. When [Dubai Blue, another Godolphin runner] went by me, it sort of set her alight.

“She was over-racing a little bit. She’ll definitely be better going another furlong. We think she's a nine or ten-furlong filly.”

Doyle was completing a double after steering Simon Crisford’s Roulston Scar to victory in the opener.

Certain Lad surprised the connection with an impressive win from Michael Halford’s Simsir and Godolphin’s trio Desert Fire, First Nation and Art Du Val over the 2,000-metre trip on turf.

“It’s really fantastic,” said the owner Chris Hirst. “We’re over the moon. We didn’t expect him to run so well in his first race.

“Obviously, he hasn’t run for a few months. We bought him back in the Newmarket sales because we didn’t think we got value and the plan was to send him down here with [assistant trainer] Jack Channon.

“Great ride by Ben. We really appreciate that he came out here to ride for us. Couldn’t have ridden a better race. We’ve won this now, but the main target was a race here on the 30th, but we’ll have to look at that now.”

Channon said the plan was to run him in a handicap had he finished fourth or fifth but will now look at a Group Three, the Dubai Millennium Stakes on February 20.

“He might go too high in the ratings for the race we had originally planned for him on January 30,” Channon said.

“We’ll see what the handicapper does. There’s a Group Three over the mile and-a-quarter, and a couple of other races for him to choose from. So we’ll be looking for one of them for him.”

Richard Mullen and Satish Seemar, the jockey-trainer partnership took the second race with Bochart and similarly Pat Dobbs and Doug Watson bagged the fifth race with Midnight Sands who was completing a four timer.

Seudois under Daniel Tudhope claimed the concluding handicap in a thriller from Crisford’s Epic Hero under William Buick.

Updated: January 16, 2020 10:24 PM

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