Charlie Appleby saddled his first winners at the Dubai Carnival
Last Updated: 09/01/14 6:56pm
Fulbright: Brought up the double
There didn't appear to be any great pace in round one of the Maktoum Challenge (presented by Longines) but 11/2 chance Shuruq's winning time was just outside the course record.
Empire Storm ran a huge race from the front for the Michael Attwater team, but Kieren Fallon's partner was overtaken late in the piece and had to be content with second while Irish raider Brendan Brackan ploughed earnestly along the far rail and was a worthy third under Colin Keane.
Winning jockey Silvestre de Sousa said: "I felt they went a nice gallop early on, I was quite happy just to sit behind the leaders. I'm very pleased the way she did it. She likes this surface and she should improve for the run."
The 2012 Racing Post Trophy third Steeler, who was returning from an imposed absence, made late progress to finish fourth but was no match for the fellow Godolphin runner.
It was a successful day for Charlie Appleby who saddled his first winners at the Dubai Carnival as Ahtoug and Fulbright both obliged.
Sent off at 6/1 in the Longines Master Collection Handicap over five furlongs, Ahtoug looked likely to have to settle for second as the speedy Hototo appeared to have the upper hand inside the distance.
However, the leader began to wilt in his first time visor and was picked up close home by the Byron gelding who was recording back-to-back successes having landed the Shergar Cup Dash when last seen in August.
The pair finished a length and a quarter clear of Desert Law in third.
"We were very happy with Ahtoug's preparation and were confident that he would run a nice race," Appleby told www.godolphin.com.
"We purposely gave him a break after he won at Ascot in August because we thought he had a nice mark to come here and campaign over the winter.
"I think that he will possibly be better on Tapeta but we will cross that bridge when we come to it and mark out a sprint campaign in due course for the rest of the Dubai World Cup Carnival."
Fulbright then made it two on the card for Appleby and jockey Mickael Barzalona when edging out Modern History and Bertiewhittle in the Longines Dolce Vita Handicap.
Barzalona said: "He finished very well, he tries very hard and this is his best trip."
The pair had to settle for third in the Singspiel Stakes Presented By Longines Prima Luna as Artigiano showed that he retains plenty of ability on his first start after being suspended for six months last year for testing positive for anabolic steroids when with disgraced trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni.
Mushreq took the Listed contest, beating a slightly unlucky in running Gabrial to see Paul Hanagan and Mike de Kock off the mark.
The runner-up is trained by Richard Fahey who is lodging with Hanagan while in Dubai leading the jockey to joke that there 'could be a bit of trouble' later.
Hanagan added: "I was just so pleased. It was his first run back and there will be plenty of improvement as well. It was a stop-start gallop which didn't really suit, but he's done it well."
The Longines Saint Imier Handicap saw Busker lead home a one-two for owner Sheikh Mohammed.
Ridden by Adrie de Vries, the six year old ran on strongly to deny Layali Al Andalus and the winning rider told Sky Sports: "I've always liked this horse, I was successful with him last season and he seems to be getting better with time.
"The trip was a bit of a worry he can be a little but keen and he was going slow but then Silvestre made a move and I could follow him through and he kept going to the line.
"He likes a bit of pace as he can be keen in his races but he's still improving. He doesn't need further, a little bit more pace maybe but he hasn't done anything wrong today."