Ghaiyyath impresses in Meydan return

Dubai Sheema Classic next on Godolphin runner’s agenda.

  • Thursday 20 February
  • News
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Ghaiyyath broke the track record with a blistering display on his return to action in the Dubai Millennium Stakes at Meydan.

Stepping back down to a mile and a quarter for this Group Three proved no problem as Charlie Appleby’s flamboyant front-runner ran his rivals into the ground.

William Buick had the Godolphin-owned entire smartly out of the stalls from his wide draw and was always dictating affairs.

Leading by five lengths coming into the straight, Ghaiyyath (4-9 favourite) extended his advantage to eight and a half lengths at the line despite being eased down close home in a time of 2mins 0.33seconds.

It is now all systems go for the Dubai Sheema Classic on World Cup night, March 28.

Appleby said: “I’m delighted. We’ve all seen what this horse can do, especially coming up his first start, there. The reason we’ve come here instead of going down the classic Sheema Classic route of running in the 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.

“Hopefully now, with a run under his belt, we can just ease off on him and let him float into World Cup night and have a crack at the Sheema Classic.”

Ghaiyyath was cut to 5-2 from 3-1 for the Dubai Sheema Classic with Paddy Power.

Appleby completed a double when Zakouski (5-2) got up in the dying strides to collar stable companion Mythical Magic in the Zabeel Mile.

James Doyle brought the son of Shamardal with a perfectly-timed run to snatch the Group Two spoils by a neck and fulfil his early promise.

Zakouski had been considered a 2000 Guineas prospect at the start of last year, but that did not work after he was beaten in the Craven Stakes and he only returned to action six weeks ago when winning a handicap over the course and distance.

Appleby said: “We knew Mythical Magic had solid form and at home was the better work horse. You just have to go back to Zakouski when he broke his maiden over a good horse at Kempton and he has always had ability.

“It will be interesting to see (if he’ll go further) and what James says. I’m delighted with the results.”

Waady turned the tables on Equilateral from their meeting four weeks ago to spring a surprise in the Meydan Sprint under Jim Crowley.

A winner just a week ago, Waady (15-2) was too strong for Charlie Hills’ sprinter in the Group Two over five furlongs.

Equilateral appeared to be travelling supremely well on the heels of the leader Caspian Prince, but when it came to a battle with the Doug Watson-trained Waady, the 1-2 shot could not deliver and was beaten three-quarters of a length.

Crowley said: “I think he’s improved. That was a better performance (than last week), obviously.

“A lot of credit goes to Doug Watson and his team. He’s not an easy horse in the mornings. He wears a hood and goes to post early.

“He’s basically got three speeds – walk, trot and flat out.

“The key to this horse is he stays five (furlongs) so well. He’s tough and galloped past the line. He keeps going and runs through a brick wall for you.

“At the age of eight, he’s really found his form.”

Down On Da Bayou (5-1) blitzed the opposition with a superb front-running display in the UAE Oaks.

Given a positive ride by Mickael Barzalona, the Salem bin Ghadayer-trained filly comprehensively reversed form with her UAE 1000 Guineas conqueror Dubai Love, coming home 18 and a half lengths clear.

Barzalona said: “I think she’s improving with every run. 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.”

Ghaiyyath impresses in Meydan return
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