Algiers Looks Set To Take On The World

Meydan action, Friday evening - watch the replay

There were Dubai World Cup whispers after Algiers routed the field in Gr2 Maktoum Challenge Round 1 last month and they turned to shouts after the gelding was every bit as impressive in Round 2 (Presented by Emaar) at Meydan on Friday evening.

Facing a classy field, including World Cup sixth Remorse and G1 winners Salute The Soldier, First Constitution and Atletico El Culano, Algiers was forced to sit wide under James Doyle off a fast early pace and the rider employed patient tactics.

That was until the home turn, when he said ‘go!’ and the response was immediate, Algiers charging away from the field and winning, eased down, by six lengths from Bendoog, with Remorse third.

Algiers rockets clear under James Doyle (Pic – Dubai Racing Club)

“It was fantastic, he switched leads at the right time in the race and did what he had to do,” said winning joint-trainer Simon Crisford after his horse became the fifth to win the first two legs of the Maktoum Challenge.

“Obviously we’ll talk to his owner, Hamdan Sultan [Alsabousi], and make a plan now, but on the back of that effort we’ll have to strongly push for the Dubai World Cup.”

Doyle, enjoying his sixth winner of a fine Carnival, was impressed by how the gelding saw out the 1900metres. “It’s the furthest he’s run on dirt” he said. “I didn’t want to ride him aggressively, but he jumped so well I could have led. I chose to take him back and then one went up my inside and pushed me wide, so then he over-raced throughout. He did well to achieve what he has without ever being in a rhythm.

“He’s the best we have in the UAE and this opens up options now, whether it be here or Saudi.”

Watch the replay here:

Doyle also took the night’s other feature, the Group 2 Singspiel Stakes (Presented by Emaar). It produced the finish of the night with Valiant Prince needing every step of the 1800metres to deny the game Alfareeq.

Charlie Appleby’s gelding took his Meydan Racecourse record to four from four with this last-ditch win, which saw him join Alfareeq right on the line and win by a short-head. It was a first Singspiel Stakes win for Appleby, but a second for Doyle who was also successful on True Story back in 2015.

Watch the replay here:

“I thought I was going to win nicely, but Alfareeq is tough and he battled back,” said the jockey. “He loves it here, he’s growing up all the time and his racing manners today were perfect, he relaxed really well in the race. He showed all the attributes of a horse going in the right direction.”

The Gr1 Jebel Hatta on Super Saturday, March 4th, is next for Valiant Prince, ahead of the Group 1 Dubai Turf on Dubai World Cup day.

Another one eyeing March 25th is Tuz, who gave trainer Bhupat Seemar a win in the G3 Al Shindagha Sprint despite his top sprinter Switzerland staying at home.

The six-year-old, whose career began in Russia, was only sixth to that stablemate in the Gr3 Dubawi Stakes last time but blasted off in front here under Jose Da Silva, soon making it one way traffic and beating UAE newcomer Isolate by three lengths, with Freedom Fighter third.

“He’s got speed to burn. I told Jose to use the draw [1] to his advantage and that is the only way to do it with him,” said Seemar. “He’s a really nice horse. It might be Super Saturday and the Golden Shaheen, but we’ll have to see where Switzerland goes.”

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