Horse racing

D'Bai hands Appleby hat trick and fifth success in Zabeel Mile

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on February 19, 2021 | Last updated on February 19, 2021 at 12.36 am
Jockey William Buick guides D'Bai to victory in the Group 2 Zabeel Mile on Thursday night. (Dubai Racing Club)

Mnasek blitzed the field in the closing stages to claim the Group 3 UAE Oaks on dirt

D’Bai prevailed in a thrilling tussle to hand Godolphin handler Charlie Appleby a hat trick of wins in the Group 2 Zabeel Mile, the highlight of the fifth race meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at the Meydan Racecourse on Thursday night.

The seven-year-old from Dubawi, won by a head over reigning UAE Champion Trainer Satish Seemar’s First Contact, to give Appleby his fifth success in the history of the eight-furlong contest.

The Briton had notched back-to-back triumphs with Safety Check in 2015 and 2016 and more recently in 2019 and last year with Mythical Magic and Zakouski, respectively.

“When he sort of got into his top gear, I knew we had enough time to get there in the end. He has been very consistent and, on his day,, like he showed this evening, he’s a class horse,” said jockey William Buick, who also won this race for the fourth time.

Meanwhile, Mnasek blitzed the field in the closing stages to claim the Group 3 UAE Oaks on dirt. The three-year-old filly from Empire Maker, won by a whopping 6.5 lengths for only her second victory in three starts.

Emirati handler Salem bin Ghadayer’s Jumeirah Beach had led under Mickael Barzalona for most of the race with Seemar’s Al Maroom close behind, followed by Godolphin’s Last Sunset.

But with 700 metres of the 1900 metres left to play out, Mnasek made the challenge and made it stick. She went clear to take the winning post over Nicholas Bachalard’s Nayefah.

“Obviously, she’s a little funny in the gate and she broke great tonight. We worked her out of the gate last Saturday. “Super win for her,” trainer Doug Watson said.

Earlier, Hypothetical got things going by winning the New Jaguar XF handicap, the first race of the evening.

Saddled by bin Ghadayer and the ride of Barzalona, Hypothetical beat Godolphin’s Bright Start in the eight-furlong contest, for his third win in eight starts.

The Group 2 Meydan Sprint was reduced to a five-horse field after Good Effort and Lazuli were non runners and the Charles Hills-trained Equilateral, ridden by Andrea Atzeni, beat Acklam Express by a length, over five furlongs on turf.

The Curlin Stakes, the third race on the card, saw the Ahmad bin Harmash-trained New Trails winning comfortably by two lengths over Godolphin’s Dubai Icon, saddled by Saeed bin Suroor.

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