Meydan Today – Godolphin And Appleby Go For Gold

This should be a humdinger!

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby has the pressure on to deliver at the Dubai World Cup meeting and brings four of his best for the big meeting that starts at 15h30 today.

“It’s a huge night for Dubai, it’s what we, through the Carnival, work back from, and it’s great to be part of it,” he said. “Every year we see it getting more and more competitive and more and more international.”

Measured Time and William Buick land the Gr1 Jebel Hatta (Pic- Dubai Racing Club)

The team features half-brothers Measured Time and Rebel’s Romance, who are split up for the Gr1 Dubai Turf Sponsored By DP World (1800m) and G1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (2400m) respectively.

“Measured Time is a horse that’s two-from-two out here in the Al Rashidiya and the Group 1 Jebel Hatta [1800m],” Appleby said. “We brought him here for a racecourse gallop, there was a big gap from the Jebel Hatta, and he pleased us on that morning. It’s a step up now. He’s a horse we’ve had a lot of confidence in as a half-brother to Rebel’s Romance, he’s always had that tag around his neck that we’d be following him closely. He’s pleased us and we hope that he’s going to be very competitive on Saturday.”

Measured Time is a four-year-old by Frankel while Rebel’s Romance is now six, sired by Dubawi. On the difference between them, Appleby said: “We think he’s probably a sharper horse than Rebel’s Romance, who has been doing most of his winning of late over a mile and a half and enjoys it.

“Measured Time ran over that trip at Kempton and got beat, we weren’t sure if that stretched his stamina too much. We’ve taken the hood off for his runs now and there’s a combination of factors that give more confidence coming back in trip than staying at a mile and a half.”

Rebel’s Romance is a three-time winner at the top level and was a ready winner of last month’s H H The Amir Trophy in Qatar.

“It was great to see him back at that level,” Appleby said. “He had that great spell two years ago winning those Group 1s and then the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Last year was a bit stop-start, he lost his confidence.

“We went to Kempton for an easy assignment with the hope he’d gain confidence from it. You could see he had, and went to Qatar as a horse we felt was back on his A-game. It’s probably the strongest race of the evening, we respect the opposition highly. We’re drawn out a little bit in 11 but you’ve got to take the positives out of it, it can get a bit messy going into that turn, hopefully he can get himself into the position he needs to be.”

Siskany gets the ball rolling for the blue team in the Dubai Gold Cup Sponsored By Al Tayer Motors, a race in which he was collared on the line by Broome 12 months ago.

“He does what it says on the tin really, he’s a very consistent horse and he loves the flat tracks; we’ve seen him campaign very well in America and here,” Appleby said. “He’s two from two for the winter and he goes there in great order. We’ve applied the cheekpieces that he’s had on in the past, just stepping up into tougher company. I feel this year’s renewal is one of the strongest we’ve seen for a few years.

Charlie Appleby saddles four runners today (Pic –  Dubai Racing Club/Liesl King)

“Turning in last year I thought we’d just nicked it but we probably got outstayed in the end. It was a good race to watch, unfortunately we came out second best. He gets the two miles but when you step up to the competition we’ll be having on World Cup night, the last two furlongs here they’re all quickening together and therefore it takes him right to his edge.”

Rapid young filly Star Of Mystery completes the Appleby line-up in the Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored By AZIZI Developments, having already won the Blue Point Sprint Presented by Longines and finished second to weekend rival Frost At Dawn in the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint Sponsored By Emirates Skywards.

“She’s thrived since she’s been out here,” Appleby said. “When we rolled the dice in the Blue Point to try to get a Group placing on her CV, she was very impressive and then she went and repeated it on her last start. You could have said if they switched the starting positions on the track we could have won again, taking nothing away from the winner.”

Star Of Mystery also has the help of Frankie Dettori, donning some familiar silks.

“Hopefully Frankie can drop her in and ride a race on her, use that finishing speed she’s shown on the last two occasions,” Appleby said. “There’s no man with as much experience as Frankie on World Cup night. William [Buick] can’t do the 53kg so, watching Frankie doing his light weights in America, I approached him and he was happy to get down to that weight for a filly that should give him a good spin.”


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