Godolphin trainer Appleby back for another crack at Jebel Ali

Modern Dancer is set to face 10 rivals in the Future Champions Cup

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Charlie Appleby. — KT file
Charlie Appleby. — KT file

Published: Sun 26 Feb 2023, 12:06 AM

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby’s first ever Jebel Ali runner, Sovereign Prince, was never able to land a blow in the Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile 15 days ago but the handler will be hoping for better luck with his second, Modern Dancer, on Sunday.

A homebred Kingman colt, he is set to face 10 rivals in the Future Champions Cup, a 1400m conditions race for 3yos and, if reproducing his turf form from Britain, is likely to hold serious claims under William Buick.

The fact that the 1400m at Jebel Ali is a straight one may well prove in his favour as he only raced on similar tracks in Britain, winning over 1400m on debut at Doncaster and finishing in the first three on all subsequent outings, at Yarmouth, back at Doncaster and Newmarket. This local and dirt debut is his first outing since the beginning of October, 141 days ago.

Trained on the track by Michael Costa for racecourse patron Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, My Verse makes her racecourse debut with Jean Van Overmeire in the saddle. An expensive purchase last April and one of two fillies in the field, she definitely appears one to keep a close eye on.

Bhupat Seemar saddles two, Tadhg O’Shea opting to partner Southern Artist, another launching their racing career. Homebred by Fitri Hay, it would appear significant O’Shea chooses to partner him over stable companion Talentum, the mount of Richard Mullen and already a Jebel Ali winner.

The latter and O’Shea won a 1200m course maiden, on his third and penultimate start before finding the Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas too tough a task when partnered by Mullen.

Doug Watson is responsible for three of the 11, jockey bookings suggesting debutant Ketin is considered the most likely of the trio under Sam Hitchcott.

Fernando Jara partners the same trainer’s Mulhim, also making his debut with Oscar Chavez aboard the American’s third runner, Hot Cloud, a maiden after four starts and a long way behind Talentum two outings ago.

From a pair of Ahmad bin Harmash runners, Ray Dawson opts to partner Al Hajaj, making his dirt debut and a maiden after five outings, with Antonio Fresu picking up the spare ride on stable companion Alimento, hoping to make it third time lucky but well beaten on both previous starts.

Fawzi Nass has some nice 3yos this year and relies on Shake Hand, who arrives here having shed his maiden tag last time over 1400m on the dirt surface at Meydan Racecourse, beating just three rivals though. This looks tougher for the mount of Adrie de Vries.

The field is completed by the only southern hemisphere-foaled runner in the race, thus conceding weight to her 10 rivals, Jewel Genie Lamp.

The filly has been beaten a long way on both UAE outings to date but does have one win to her name, on debut, over 1400m on turf in her native South America.


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