Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

Ghaiyyath shines for Godolphin with new track record at Meydan during Dubai World Cup Carnival

Charlie Appleby says he will go straight to Dubai Sheema Classic at DWC

Ghaiyyath, ridden by William Buick, set a track record at Meydan on Thursday. Erika Rasmussen for The National
Ghaiyyath, ridden by William Buick, set a track record at Meydan on Thursday. Erika Rasmussen for The National

Ghaiyyath lived up to his top billing as Godolphin’s highest rated horse in the UAE by winning the Group Three Dubai Millennium Stakes in a new track-record time at Meydan on Thursday’s Dubai World Cup Carnival week eight.

The Charlie Appleby-trained son of Dubawi and Nigthtime raced alone in front for the entire 2,000-metre distance on turf to come home eight-and-a-half lengths clear of Spotify, his stable companion and last year’s winner.

Ghaiyyath clocked 2:00.33 to better the previous record time of 2:00.67 set by Hunter’s Light in 2016.

The victory margin could have been even better had his rider William Buick not eased him when he approached the winning post.

“He’s a very energetic horse and was a little bit fresh today,” Buick said of Ghaiyyath’s sixth career victory.

“He puts a lot into everything he does. It was an exercise where we hoped to produce and he did it well. He’s a hugely talented horse and like Charlie mentioned, he’s going to get a nice rest until World Cup night now.”

Ghaiyyath won the Group One Grosser Preis von Baden by 14 lengths in Germany in September before unplaced in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the following month.

Appleby said he would now go straight to the $6million (Dh22m) Dubai Sheema Classic on the Dubai World Cup night on March 28.

“I’m delighted,” Appleby said of Ghaiyyath’s victory. “We’ve all seen what this horse can do, especially coming up his first start, there.

20.02.20 Meydan. Race 4 Zakouski - trainer Charlie Appleby - jockey James Doyle - Erika Rasmussen
Zakouski, under James Doyle, won at Meydan on Thursday. Erika Rasmussen for The National

“The reason we’ve come here instead of going down the classic Sheema Classic route of running in the (Group Three) Dubai City of Gold (on Super Saturday, March 7) is that this gives us two more weeks.

“The plan was to just let him float into (the race) from his outside post and once he was on the lead, we would let him roll along. We’ve seen on numerous occasions what he can do when he’s left to his own devices like that.

“Hopefully we can just freshen him up now and aim toward the Sheema Classic. Knowing the nature of the beast, (free-running on the lead) is what you want to see.”

Appleby completed a double when James Doyle on board Zakouski got up in the last few strides to pip stable companion Mythical Magic, under Buick atop, in the Group Two Zabeel Mile.

In-between, Salem bin Ghadayer’s Down On Da Bayou, under Mickael Barzalona, made all in the silks of Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed to win the UAE Oaks from another Godolphin runner Saeed bin Suroor’s Dubai Love.

“I think she’s improving every run,” Barzalona said after the Super Saver filly avenged her UAE 1000 Guineas defeat to Dubai Love four weeks ago.

“She’s a very sensitive filly and I think today she really liked the trip. I could ease her into the race. She raced on very well when I asked her to go. She did it very easily and the time was good.

“I’m happy with that. We know she can be very fast and there’s no point to fight against her. You let her go and it was a good test to see if she could stay today and she did.”

Doug Watson’s Waady provided Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid his 900th winner in the UAE when getting up close home to win from Charles Hills’ Equilateral in the Group Two Meydan Sprint.

Updated: February 20, 2020 09:35 PM

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