Algiers potential Dubai World Cup candidate after impressive victory

Godolphin, Appleby and Doyle celebrate wins at Meydan

James Doyle rides Algiers to victory in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round-2 at Meydan on Friday, February 3, 2023. Photo: Adiyat Racing Plus
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James Doyle rode a superb treble, grabbing two of the three Group 2 prizes that were on offer and a turf handicap, at week 5 of the Dubai World Cup Carnival on Friday.

The most valuable of them was the Al Maktoum Challenge Round-2 on the 1,900-metre dirt surface onboard Algiers, trained by Simon Crisford and his son Ed.

The six-year-old Shamardal gelding replicated the Round-1 victory over the 1,600m distance.

This time around, Doyle settled behind the leaders for much of the trip before going clear on the home stretch to win from Bhupat Seemar’s pair Bendoog (Ryan Moore) and Remorse (Tadhg O’Shea).

With the back-to-back victories under his belt, Simon now believes Algiers is a potential Dubai World Cup candidate, and probably follow the path taken by Moon Ballad (2003) and Thunder Snow (2018) in completing that double.

“That was just fantastic. The horse switched his lead leg at exactly the right time and then galloped on strongly which is so important in these dirt races,” Simon said.

“We were considering the Godolphin Mile but after that I think we will have to seriously be thinking Dubai World Cup.”

Doyle added: “He was very keen early on in the race when I was trying to restrain him but he just kept on galloping and that was a very good performance. It is an exciting horse to be associated with.”

Also, Doyle rode First Ruler to victory in the Vazirabad handicap and the Group 2 Singspiel Stakes on Valiant Prince, both in the silks of Godolphin.

Valiant Prince won by a short head from Alfareeq and is now undefeated in four starts at Meydan.

“He obviously loves it here and he is really growing up as he behaved impeccably and has shown a great attitude in a battle to snatch victory under a penalty. Hopefully he can keep progressing,” Doyle said of the Dubawi gelding.

William Buick scooped the other Group 2 prize, the Cape Verdi for fillies and mares, the fourth race atop With The Moonlight for Godolphin to win three of four races they had their runners in. All three were trained by Charlie Appleby.

“She is a very nice filly and this was the perfect spot to bring her back. She will appreciate stepping back up in trip so that was very pleasing,” Buick said.

Oscar Chavez onboard the Majed Al Jahouri-trained Hayyan, in the silks of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed’s Yas Racing, took the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round-2.

A four-time Group 1 winner in Europe, the eight-year-old son of Minjiz beat Rajeh (Antonio Fresu) and Barakka (Ray Dawson) by three and-a-half lengths and a length, respectively.


6pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round-2 – Group 1 (PA) $55,000 (Dirt) 1,900m; Winner: Hayyan, Oscar Chavez (jockey), Majed Al Jahouri (trainer)

6.35pm: Vazirabad – Handicap (TB) $80,000 (Turf) 2,410m; Winner: First Ruler, James Doyle, Charlie Appleby

7.10pm: Al Shindagha Sprint – Group 3 (TB) $150,000 (D) 1,200m; Winner: Tuz, Jose da Silva, Bhupat Seemar

7.45pm: Cape Verdi – Group 2 (TB) $180,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: With The Moonlight, William Buick, Charlie Appleby

8.20pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round-2 – Group 2 (TB) $350,000 (D) 1,900m; Winner: Algiers, James Doyle, Simon and Ed Crisford

8.55pm: Singspiel Stakes – Group 2 (TB) $180,000 (T) 1,800m; Winner: Valiant Prince, James Doyle, Charlie Appleby

9.30pm: The Valley – Handicap (TB) $75,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Moqtarreb, Dane O’Neill, Ali Al Badwawi

Updated: February 04, 2023, 9:16 AM