Relentless Charlie Appleby seeks more Meydan success

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Echo Point can continue Charlie Appleby’s rich vein of form at Meydan Racecourse on Sunday. (Picture courtesy Godolphin website)
Echo Point can continue Charlie Appleby’s rich vein of form at Meydan Racecourse on Sunday. (Picture courtesy Godolphin website)

The Godolphin handler completed a three-timer at Friday's sixth Dubai World Cup Carnival

By Leslie Wilson Jr

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Published: Sun 20 Feb 2022, 1:01 AM

Racing returns to Meydan for another Sunday afternoon card sponsored by Aziz where in-form handler Charlie Appleby looks set to provide little relief to his rivals when he sends out two serious contenders.

The Godolphin handler completed a three-timer at Friday’s sixth Dubai World Cup Carnival and he now turns his attention to the domestic season in a bid to keep his string ticking.

On the same day, Appleby made a little piece of history for himself when he saddled his first-ever winner in Bahrain courtesy of Silent Film in the Al Shakir Cup, one of the highlights of the Bahrain Turf Series at Shakir Racecourse.

On Sunday the Epsom Derby and Melbourne Cup-winning handler sends out one-time American hopeful Desert Eights in the Mina By Azizi Rated Conditions event and Echo Point in the Riviera By Azizi Handicap, over 2000metres on turf.

A four-year-old by Dubawi, Echo Point will be looking to gain revenge on the Musabbeh Al Mheri-trained Al Madhar, who beat him by a neck here last month.

Desert Peace has a more interesting challenge to deal with as he takes on the sometimes overlook dual winner, Shanty Star, who is on a hat-trick having coasted home to two very impressive Meydan victories.

The field also includes the Salem Bin Ghadayer-trained Rare Ninja, an impressive winner of a 1900-metre race here last April.

The Emirati handler said: “He’s a nice consistent horse. We gave him a breather at Jebel Ali to bring him on. He’s won at Meydan so we know he can handle the surface. He’s been training well and we look forward to seeing what he can do.”

Meanwhile, South African handler Mike de Kock, a one-time force during the Carnival, will be hoping to get his name upon the winner’s list when he saddles Magical Land in the Creek Views by Azizi Handicap, over 1400metres on turf.

Magical Land has run twice this season, both of them decent runs, where he finished behind Appleby’s Silent Film and Valiant Prince last month.

A smart son of Frankel, Magical Land has been knocking at the door and has deservedly been made the international favorite in a race that looks the most competitive of the afternoon.

Other notable runners in the race are the Erwan Charpy-trained Al Salt, a good second to Valiant Prince last time out and the pick of Shadwell retained rider Dane O’Neill.

The longest race of the afternoon is the 2200metre Riviera Beach Front by Azizi Rated Conditions event where Al Mheri’s Dalaalaat looks the pick of the eleven runners.

Consistent but still looking for a win here, Al Mheri keeps his faith in the horse and said: “His last race was over 1900metres and he ran well, but I think that the step up in distance will be more to his liking.”

Bin Ghadayer looks to have a good chance with Attribution and the Emirati handler commented: “He’s a nice horse who we like, although he hasn’t quite performed at Meydan. But he deserves another chance.”

The afternoon’s action begins at 2:30 pm with a Conditions race for Purebred Arabians in which recent Al Ain winner On Cue looks a leading contender.

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