Charlie Appleby dominates Meydan meeting
Last Updated: 16/01/14 11:00pm
Charlie Appleby: The man to follow at Meydan
Godolphin annexed the major prizes on the second meeting of the Dubai Racing Carnival at Meydan, but it was arguably neither the winner of the UAE 1000 or 2000 Guineas Trials that impressed the most.
Wedding Ring clocked some tidy closing fractionals to take the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial under Mikael Barzalona, but the jockey was denied a quick follow-up victory when Emirates Flyer and Silvestre De Sousa held off Barzalona and Safety Catch in the colts' equivalent contest.
"He's not the biggest horse, but he tries hard," was De Sousa's assessment of the winner. "I think he is the sort of horse who has such a big heart that it doesn't matter whether it is on the turf or the all-weather."
However, it was Cat O'Mountain whose victory in the opening Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Handicap arguably eclipsed both of those contests.
Trained like the other winners by Charlie Appleby, the four-year-old was coming into the contest on the back of two successes at Kempton, but took another step forwards as he swept clear two furlongs out before eventually being eased down to beat Haafaguinea by two lengths.
"He's won that off a mark of 100 and although we don't know if he will be good enough, I think we will have to step him right up now," said Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford. "He was very impressive indeed."
Crisford added that Wedding Ring would now go for the UAE 1000 Guineas, where she is likely to be reopposed by the Mike De Kock-trained runner-up Magrooma.
"She's a sweet-natured filly, who is very tough, and although the mile of the Guineas itself is a bit of a question, that's the obvious route for her," he said.
James Doyle took the Listed honours on United Color for trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam in the Dubawi Stakes over six furlongs.
The rider, whose first major success came on Cityscape for his now boss Khalid Abullah on this course in March 2012, was at his best on the Dhruba Selvaratnam-trained five-year-old.
He kicked on some way out and kept on to hold Michael Halford's strong-finishing Russian Soul by a neck.
Doyle said: "It was a funny race to ride in. Obviously, we were drawn widest of all. They went no pace early on in the race, so I took a chance. It's not his ideal running style, but I wanted to do that and not be stuck out in the middle of the track on my own.
"I was pleased with him but he just idled a bit in the straight. He took a little blow so he'll improve again."
Martin Lane got a dream up on the rail to guide Sheikhzayedroad to victory for Newmarket trainer David Simcock in the Dubai Duty Free Gold World Cup from William Knight's Aussie Reigns.
"This horse in one of my favourites. He's been really good to me the last few years and tonight has just topped it all off," said Lane. "I was lucky enough horse to go through the gap when it opened up. He was good enough and he's done it well."