Charlie Appleby on his Super Saturday squad

Starting with Super Saturday, Godolphin's trainer talks Stephen Molyneux through his team as they gear up for the Dubai World Cup

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It has already been another remarkable Carnival for Charlie Appleby with 18 winners from 61 runners at a strike rate of nearly 30%, a figure that could have been greater but for multiple runners in many races. In his own words, none of that will count for much if they aren’t competitive come the latter end of the season, starting with Super Saturday, and he talks us through his likely team for trial night ahead of the Dubai World Cup.

SPACE BLUES (Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint)
“We could have gone to Saudi with him, but that would have meant 90 days in quarantine in Dubai after the race and that would have left us very tight for Royal Ascot, plus we felt we had two genuine contenders anyway for Saudi! Obviously, he has some very smart form as a three-year-old and we have to be thinking he can make a mark in the top sprints. This is the first port of call and it looks a very presentable opportunity for him.”

BARNEY ROY  (Jebel Hatta)
“We always felt he would do well over here and made the perfect start with that easy win in the Al Rashidiya. He has a giant stride and can hopefully earn the right to run in the Dubai Turf. He can run up fairly light, so we don’t do a lot with him, in fact he had only had a couple of serious gallops prior to his reappearance. He will improve for that and should be hard to beat on Saturday.”

MAGIC LILY (Jebel Hatta)
“A lot of work has gone in to getting her back and she has justified that faith in a couple of wins so far out here. She has a Group 2 penalty now, so this is the obvious next port of call. We felt she would improve past the horse that nearly beat here in the Cape Verdi and she was duly more authoritative in the Balanchine. Obviously, a Group 1 will be good for her pedigree and we will see what we do with her after Saturday.”

SPOTIFY (Jebel Hatta or Al Maktoum Challenge)
“I was asked why he didn’t front run as is the normally the case behind Ghaiyyath last time, but had he tried to match strides with Ghaiyyath it would have killed him! Did well out here last season and is an honest type who should ply his trade in Europe again this year.”

YA HAYATI (Al Bastakiya)
“He has a dirt pedigree but that can be an experience game and to have gone straight on to that surface may have been counter-productive. Mentally hopefully he will be a lot stronger for that win on turf on his reappearance and he is now ready for it. By the time we get to the Al Bastikiya usually the fields have thinned out numerically which will help him as well although there do seem to be quite a few entries!”

“We wouldn’t have anything solid for the Dubai City Of Gold. This is a trial for the Sheema Classic which he have Ghaiyyath for anyway. Loxley has been disappointing and has certainly lost the winning habit whilst First Nation is a solid handicapper and probably nothing more. We did expect better from Jalmoud last time and that run was too bad to be true. We thought him capable of going for the St Leger last season and it could just be that big fields have exposed him. His form behind the likes of Headman and Japan is good and hopefully a smaller field on Saturday will see him to better effect.”

“Looking further ahead we will see how Cross Counter and Secret Advisor come out of their respective races last weekend before looking at the Dubai Gold Cup but Ispolini is on course for that. We felt he was our Melbourne Cup horse last year so obviously it was frustrating that we couldn’t run him, but he’s done well out here again and will go straight to the Gold Cup. Ghaiyyath has come out of his race well and we will rely on him in the Sheema. We had toyed with dirt but that could have done him more harm than good, and we are confident he is mentally growing up so don’t want to upset that. Hopefully a couple from our Super Saturday team also earn the right to represent us on the big night.”

Charlie Appleby on his Super Saturday squad
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