Charlie Appleby believes Ghaiyyath can send out another statement of intent by backing up his impressive debut victory in Meydan in the Dubai Sheema Classic later this month.
The lightly-raced five-year-old looked a cut above his rivals back at a mile and a quarter when running out a facile winner of the Group Three Dubai Millennium Stakes, on his first start since finishing down the field in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October.
With a step back up to a mile and a half expected to suit Ghaiyyath – who shot to prominence following a wide-margin victory in a Group One in Germany on his penultimate start last year – Appleby expects to see more of the same.
Appleby said: “He put up a performance on his last start that we know he has in him. The nice thing about it he is a year older now and he has taken the race well.
“I’m feeling as a five-year-old he has matured into pretty much a finished article in these mile-and-a-quarter and mile-and-a-half races now.
“He is very impressive when he puts his energy in the right direction – he will go off a worthy favourite for Sheema Classic and we are looking forward to it.”
Although in the past Ghaiyyath has needed plenty of time between each race, Appleby feels that is no longer the case
He said: “In the past he would put up those sort of performances and he would need time in between the runs, as he doesn’t give himself an easy race.
“Visually what we have seen so far we are very pleased with how he has taken the run
“I’m hoping we don’t need to have these big gaps in between his races now.”
Appleby was satisfied with the performance of 2018 Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter in defeat in the Longines Turf Handicap at Riyadh in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, ahead of the defence of his Dubai Gold Cup crown.
Appleby said: “We all know in those type of races it is tough giving the weight away. It was a performance that I was happy with.
“I feel he was a bit fresh and they went a decent gallop, but he will be spot on for World Cup Night where hopefully he will repeat his win in the Dubai Gold Cup there. ”
Glorious Journey will join Ghaiyyath and Cross Counter on the Dubai World Cup undercard on March 28, with Appleby earmarking the Al Quoz Sprint as his next port of call.
Last year’s Hungerford Stakes winner finished one place behind stablemate Mubtasim in Riyadh in the STC 1351 Cup.
Appleby said: “Glorious Journey was a bit unlucky with the draw in Saudi Arabia and Mubtasim ran the race of his life.
“Glorious Journey will now head in the Al Quoz Sprint and with Mubtasim will we just wait and see with him.”