Charlie Appleby is confident Barney Roy has the class to overcome a wide draw and claim the second Group One victory of his career in Saturday’s Jebel Hatta at Meydan.
The 2017 St James’s Palace Stakes winner will bid to back up his Group Two success on his Meydan debut when stepping back up to Group One company in the nine-furlong event.
Although Barney Roy faces a tall order from stall 12, Appleby, who is seeking a third victory in the race, believes he is still the horse they all have to beat.
Appleby said: “We were delighted with his first start in Dubai. We had left him a little bit short and subsequently he has come on for that run.
“As we all know, he is a light-framed horse, so he doesn’t take a lot of training anyway, but he has definitely come forward for that last start.
“He is the class horse in the race, but we are drawn a bit wide unfortunately and that is the only negative.
“Hopefully he has the class to overcome that and a repeat performance of his last start there will make him hard to beat.”
In opposition is stablemate Magic Lily, who will be looking to make it a hat-trick of wins this year by claiming a breakthrough first Group One victory, having already struck in the Cape Verdi and then the Balanchine.
Appleby said: “She has done the Cape Verdi and Balanchine double out there. She is a filly we have given a lot of time to and she has repaid us over the last couple of starts, and we just felt she deserved to have a crack at a Group One.
“She is a filly that has done nothing wrong and seems to be improving with each run to date in Dubai, and she goes into the weekend in as good order as I’ve seen her.
“Barney will have to be on his A game, as she is receiving the fillies’ allowance and she has got ability herself in that.”
Completing Appleby’s trio of runners is Spotify, who chased home stablemate Ghaiyyath in a mile-and-a-quarter Group Three at the track last month.
He said: “Spotify is usually good first time out there, but he met a fair hurdle in Ghaiyyath in his way, but he has come out of the race well.
“He is a solid Group Three horse that doesn’t look out of place in that field on Saturday.”
Last year’s winner Dream Castle will try to give Saeed bin Suroor, who is also represented by Royal Meeting, a seventh victory in the race.
Bin Suroor said: “He is doing good. His form at the end of last year was not so good, but he has come back well and run some good races this year.
“He is happy and working well. We are hoping for another good run from him.”
Marco Botti is under no illusion that Wait Forever faces a tough task on ratings and is pinning his hopes on the trip helping the five-year-old sneak into a place.
He said: “The owner was keen to run him in the race and he has been placed twice out there.
“He has got quite a bit to find, but we will take our chance and maybe the extra furlong might suit him a bit better.
“He has got a good draw in two, although the likes of Barney Roy and Dream Castle will be tough to beat. If he runs into a place we would be delighted.”