Mythical Magic Grabs Zabeel Mile

Dubai Turf next up

Six races filled with Thoroughbred stars from eight different nations allowed for a global affair on Thursday night at Meydan Racecourse, but it was locally based trainer Charlie Appleby and owner Godolphin who stole the show, with the latter landing four races and Appleby taking home a Group treble.

The feature of the evening was the $250,000 Zabeel Mile (Gr2), which included a complex field of milers looking to earn their way to the $6 million Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World (Gr1) next month.

In an exciting turn of affairs, the two market favourites, Century Dream (Oisin Murphy aboard) and Mythical Magic (William Buick) kicked on aggressively with 500m remaining, setting the stage for an exciting final straight.

The latter, with the aid of a prep race, proved fitter of the two, collaring his foe with a furlong remaining and powering clear by three lengths at the wire for trainer Charlie Appleby and owner Godolphin.

Wlliam Buick steers Mythical Magic to victory

The final time was a strong 1:36.39 for the 1600m, with First Contact (Colm O’Donoghue), Wootton (James Doyle) and South African Gr1 winner Marinaresco (Bernard Fayd’Herbe) closing well to complete the top five. Defending champion Janoobi, Australian Gr1 winner Comin’ Through, 2017 winner Championship and Top Score completed the octet at the wire.

The victory was the 4-year-old gelded son of Iffraaj’s third from nine starts. He exited an excellent second in the Al Fahidi Fort (G2) over 1400m on Jan. 24, finishing behind well-regarded stablemate D’bai.

William Buick

William Buick

“It was an excellent performance,” Buick said. “He’s a beautiful, imposing horse and he’s getting things together now. His last run over seven furlongs in the Al Fahidi Fort was obviously an eye-catching run. Up to the mile tonight, things really came together for him and he put in a good performance. He did the job well. Century Dream was the horse to beat without a question, but I think Mythical Magic had a fitness edge with a run under his belt.”

“I thought he would come forward,” Appleby added. “He went to his girth there and stayed on nicely in the Al Fahidi Fort and we thought the step up in trip was going to suit. We’ll have a chat (about the Dubai Turf). He could maybe go to Australia for the Doncaster, but obviously we’ll get back and regroup and see where we are. Very pleasing night. He’s always been a bit tricky and he’s in great nick now. It’s been worth persevering with. When you’re on the kind of roll that we’re on now, the confidence certainly flows throughout the stable.”

Murphy was pleased with the performance of Century Dream, who was making his first start since a good third in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1) in October.

“He jumped well and he relaxed the first three furlongs,” Murphy said. “I got a nice tow off Top Score. Christophe tried to slow the pace and (Century Dream) got a little bit keen. He did enough work to make the race, but he paid the price for it up the straight. It wasn’t a bad run. He’s a genuine Group 1 performer, so that’s where we are with him.”

“It was a good, solid run race and the pace was very good,” O’Donoghue said of First Contact. “He ran a very competitive race and he galloped straight through the line. I’m very happy with him.”

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