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Dubai World Cup: Appleby eyes another glorious run

Filed on March 20, 2020
Barney Roy (right) won the Al Rashidiya (G2) and Jebel Hatta in sensational style under William Buick. (Dubai Racing Club)

Appleby's top two claims of the day are Godolphin's Ghaiyyath and Barney Roy, who run in the Dubai Sheema Classic and $6 million Dubai Turf, respectively

Trainer Charlie Appleby had the most enviable Dubai World Cup meeting of any conditioner in 2019, landing the $6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic with Old Persian, $2 million Al Quoz Sprint with Blue Point and $1.5 million Dubai Gold Cup with Cross Counter. This year, he is entering the world's richest race day with seven top horses in the four turf races on the nine-race card.

Appleby's top two claims of the day are arguably Godolphin's Ghaiyyath and Barney Roy, who run in the Dubai Sheema Classic and $6 million Dubai Turf, respectively.

Barney Roy has had an inspired renaissance this season, winning both the Al Rashidiya (G2) and Jebel Hatta in sensational style under William Buick. The Godolphin-owned son of Excelebration flew past Magic Lily - herself a dual Group 2 winner during this DWC Carnival - in the latter, stamping himself as the chief threat to Japan's superstar and Dubai Turf defending champion, Almond Eye.

"Barney Roy has come out of his race very well," Appleby said. "He's really in tip-top order, which is good. Magic Lily is doing very well out of the Jebel Hatta and will also go in there, all being well."

Ghaiyyath is the highest-rated (126) horse training in Dubai this season and had perhaps the most impressive performance anywhere in the world this year when romping by 8 lengths over stablemate and next-out G1 Jebel Hatta-placed Spotify in the $200,000 Dubai Millennium five weeks ago.

The son of Dubawi smashed the 2000m course record (2:00.33) under an eased-up ride that day and stretches back out to the 2410m (about 12 furlongs) over which he won the Grosser Preis von Baden last September.

A winner of six of nine starts and $507,280, Ghiayyath was a $1,180,850 purchase at Goffs November 2015 as a foal.

Dubai World Cup: Appleby eyes another glorious run (KT23590320.JPG)

Trainer Charlie Appleby (right) won three races last year at the Dubai World Cup

"The horses in Dubai are all doing well," Appleby said. "Ghaiyyath obviously had a very impressive victory there in the Dubai Millennium. His preparation so far has been faultless and I'm confident he's going to be there in as good or better condition. Hopefully a bit better than we last saw him in his last start. He's an exciting horse and always has been and we're looking forward to it all going ahead."

If he wins, it will give the Godolphin-Appleby-Buick team its third consecutive win in the race following the gate-to-wire win by Hawkbill in 2018 and thrilling stalk-and-pounce victory by Old Persian last year.

Glorious Journey and Godolphin's Mubtasim will exchange friendly fire for the third consecutive race this year, having finished first and third in the Al Fahidi Fort (G2) over 1400m on January 23 at Meydan and then second and third in the 1351m Turf Sprint last out in Riyadh on Feb. 29. Both are cutting back in trip for the Al Quoz Sprint to 1200m and appear to have the needed speed to be competitive.

Cross Counter and Ispolini will attempt to carry the Godolphin blue to a one-two finish for the second consecutive year in the Dubai Gold Cup. Unlike his stablemate, Cross Counter has had the benefit of a run this season when off the board in the rich Longines Turf Handicap in Riyadh, but must overcome his poor performance in which he seemed ideally suited.

Ispolini is unraced since a veterinarian scratch during the lead-up to the Melbourne Cup (G1) in November, a race that Cross Counter won in 2018 and finished a respectable eighth in 2019. A two-time Meydan winner, Ispolini was last seen racing when winning the German St Leger (G3) in September.


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