It’s been another memorable Dubai World Cup meeting capped by Mystic Guide’s fluent win in the showpiece.
Mike Stidham, the trainer of the winner, had never previously run a horse outside of America after 40 years in the sport. But he says he would not hesitate to return next year with Mystic Guide provided the four-year-old, owned by Godolphin, continues to flourish.
Thady Gosden is at the other end of the training spectrum after recently joining forces with his father, John. He saddled two big winners in Mishriff, thrilling winner of an epic Longines Dubai Sheema Classic, and Lord North, fluent winner of of the Dubai Turf.
What an effort by Mishriff, so soon after his triumph in the Saudi Cup. Nobody can dispute he is among the best horses in the world – if not the best.
Subjectivist, the impressive Dubai Gold Cup winner, was another winner from Britain, while Rebel’s Romance romped home in the UAE Derby – as did eight-year-old Secret Ambition in the Godolphin Mile.
Extravagant Kid got up late on in the Al Quoz Sprint, while Zenden was a brilliant all-the-way winner of the Dubai Golden Shaheen. Tragically, he suffered a fatal injury soon after the finish.
Japan failed to hit the target but France struck with Deryan in the Dubai Kahayla Classic.
All nine races were won by different jockeys.
Mystic Guide is a majestic winner of the $12 million Dubai World Cup.
The American challenger, owned by Godolphin and trained by Mike Stidham, was the least experienced runner in the line-up, having had only seven runs, but you would never have known it.
Mystic Guide was quickly in a stalking position under Luis Saez as Hypothetical and Cappezano forced the pace.
And when Saez pushed the button after swinging for home, the race was swiftly over. None of the other 11 ever looked like landing a glove on him in the Emirates-sponsored showpiece.
He's the 12th American-rained winner of the race - and the latest since Arrogate in 2017.
A jubilant Saez confirmed everything had gone perfectly. He said: "Our plan worked out. To break well, get a position and then I knew he would give me that kick at the top of the straight - and he did. I didn't want to be too far back and I just asked him turning for home and he kicked. The plan worked out perfectly. He’s a young horse and last time I rode him I knew he was a Group 1 winner.
"Today he proved he is a champion and I know he is going to get better and better. What a nice horse, he has all the ability. It’s an honour for me. This was my dream as a little kid and I can’t believe I’m here now. It's a dream come true.
"He was a little nervous before the race and in the post-parade, but he does that sometimes and I wasn't too worried. He is just a very talented horse and it is amazing to win this race. I can't believe it."
It's been a tough day/night for Japan, with all their challengers at tbe meeting being beaten, but Chuwa Wizard ran a fine race for them to be second.
Magny Cours, for France, was third, with Hypothetcal and Salute The Soldier being the next pair home.
Stidham said: "I want to start by giving my condolences on the passing of Sheikh Hamdan. This was a special night. You’re seeing 40 years of emotions right now.
"I am so happy to be here and the horse performed to his capability. It's a beautiful thing. He was getting antsy in the parade ring and then with a loose horse it made it more difficult, then we had to load a couple times. It was a little scary at the start but he stayed relaxed.
"All that added to the concerns. He gets a little tough and doesn't like being restrained a lot. I saddled him outside the stall because he was getting a little antsy in the stall. With all of that that went on, I was really concerned, like I said, but he overcame it.
"I got a good feeling when I saw him lying in third on the backside then down the lane it was amazing. I’m so proud to be here on the 25th anniversary of the Dubai World Cup for Sheikh Mohammed and the sky’s the limit for this horse. We’d love to come back next year, I’ll know the lay of the land better then."
Great Scot has unshipped Frankie Dettori and is running loose around the track. He's going to be a late non-runner.
And Military Law has come out of the stalls and is also going to be a late withdrawal.
Both horses are fine.
The World Cup field is down to a dozen. They've all been taken out of the stalls and will be put back in.
Multiple French champion trainer André Fabre has won most of the world’s top races and is hoping that he can finally add the $12m Dubai World Cup to his impressive record via the Godolphin-owned Magny Cours.
The six-year-old has not been the easiest of train but has won five of his eight races. “He has had his issues," Fabre said. "But now he is in perfect condition and form. He had an excellent journey over to Dubai, he drank up, he ate up and everything is going well. He is six now and is just more stabilised in his body.
"I really believe this horse has a lot of ability and I am confident that he can be close."
Salute The Soldier has won the second and third rounds of the Al Maktoum Challenge on his past two starts. Trainer Fawzi Nass said: “We would have preferred a better draw but the horse is in great shape and his last work was very good indeed. Adrie (de Vries) is a world-class jockey so I will leave tactics to him as the race unfolds.”
Watch Salute The Soldier's latest success
Musabbeh Al Mheiri’s Military Law had his final blow out on Meydan’s dirt track on Thursday. The six-year-old Dubawi gelding has been assigned stall 5 and Al Mheiri said: "We have a good horse in Military Law. He is honest and works hard and has always shown us that in training. A good draw has improved his chances and we could not have asked for a better spot. We will look for a good break and for Antonio Fresu to get him into a good spot just off the pace so that he can give himself a good chance at the finish."
Frankie Dettori seeks a record-equalling fourth Dubai World Cup win on Great Scot, while Chuwa Wizard will fly the flag for Japan.
Meanwhile, Gifts Of Gold will attempt to give Saeed Bin Suroor a remarkable tenth win in the race. Regarding the draw in stall 14, Bin Suroor said: "I never pick a good one, luckily the horses have been good enough to win. It’s not ideal but Christophe Soumillon knows the track well and has won the race twice. What’s important for the horse is to jump well and get a nice position. The last piece of work was Thursday and he went very well, we can do no more now."
Mishriff has won an exhilarating Longines Dubai Sheema Classic.
The Saudi Cup winner was switching to turf over a much longer trip but it made no difference as he swept from last to first under 21-year-old David Egan.
We were hoping for an epic contest and we certainly got one.
Mishriff collared Japanese runners Chrono Genesis and Loves Only You in the closing stages after that pair had been locked together for much of the straight.
The Godolphin horses, Walton Street and Dubai Future, were the next pair home.
Whan an effort by Mishriff, so soon after his exploits in Saudi Arabia. And he was drawn wide moving up in distance!
Egan, retained by owner Prince Faisal, said: “This horse has brought me to the next level by winning the Saudi Cup and this is just the icing on the cake. After winning the mile and a half around here hopefully he will have an exciting summer campaign around Europe.
“He’s a champion. It was a strong battle inside the final two furlongs. I was just glad I was able to do my job and get him to settle and we know he’s got an immense turn of foot. He showed that in Riyadh.
"I thought he had to dig deep today in the final furlong. I thought he was going to curl up on me, but it just shows how good he is. Over 12 (furlongs), if he’s ridden with restraint and put in a rhythm, he could be deadly in Europe this year."
Thady Gosden, who just this week joined his father John as a joint licence holder in Britain, said: "We thought before the race that if he was too 'on it' the whole way around, it wouldn’t be good to send him up there to get position and that would be for the worst. So David just dropped him in there, where he’s relaxed, and David just switched him off beautifully.
"He made his move when he had to around the bend and (David) gave him such a brilliant ride to get him to the line. He’s such a tough horse and he’s shown his versatility. He’s a brilliant horse and obviously really talented. Hats off to everyone at home. They do all the hard work and take care of these horses every day doing such a fantastic job."
It’s been a wonderful Dubai World Cup day and one of the highlights of the racing year, the $12 million Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline, is looming (20:50).
Favourite in the international markets is the Godolphin-owned Mystic Guide, trained in America Mike Stidham. The four-year-old is officially the highest-rated runner in the 14-strong line-up and was a runaway winner at Oaklawn Park last time on only his seventh start.
"He just has flourished here," Stidham said. "Every day I’ve been watching his weight and seeing if his coat was changing, but he’s been perfect. I’m amazed at how well he’s taking all of this."
Another American challenger is Jesus Team, who would be something of a fairytale winner as his 30-year-old trainer, Jose Francisco D’Angelo, a former leading Venezuelan handler, has only been training in the USA a short time.
Jesus Team was runner-up in the Pegasus World Cup last time and filled the same position in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. In between, he was an easy winner at Plimlico.
A sizeable Venezuelan contingent has turned up in support of the young trainer, including D’Angelo’s wife, mother, sister and friends.
"This horse has put me on the map," D’Angelo said. "I am ready. A little nervous for sure, but we are ready. I can’t express this feeling. Not just to run, but to be running with a chance is amazing for me. We’re ready to rock and roll."
Another American contender is Sleepy Eyes Todd, the Grade 2 Charlestown Classic victor.
Trainer Miguel Angel Silva said: “We are ready. Hopefully we will go home with the prize-money. It’s been a great learning experience and I love it. I would change nothing about the trip we’ve had.
"It is a dream come true for every trainer. Every person that works in this business is looking for a horse like this. There are only 14 horses in the race so there are very few people that can really come and enjoy this moment. We are really fortunate to be here, to be one of the few."
Channel Maker will fly the flag for America in the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic and assistant trainer Neil Poznansky has been pleased with his preparation: "He hasn’t missed a beat, if anything he’s better than he was in Saudi Arabia. He’s a lot of fun. He’s always bright and alert and is always looking at stuff. Every day is a new day with him. He keeps things interesting."
Channel Maker will be ridden by Joel Rosario, who was aboard the gelding when he finished second in the Neom Turf Cup in Riyadh last month. Rosario won the 2013 Dubai World Cup aboard Animal Kingdom.
*Flashback: Rosario and Animal Kingdom win the Dubai World Cup in 2013 *
Charlie Appleby is hopeful his contenders will play their part in what promises to be a fabulous encounter.
"Star Safari has done nothing wrong," Appleby said. "He broke the track record there over the 10 last year. He came out this year and needed that first run, came forward from that run and got the job done over a mile and a half and then we dropped him back to the 10 for the Dubai Millennium and he put up another sensible performance. He’s not going to look out of place. I think he’s going to run a very respectable race in the Sheema.
"Walton Street has come out of his race well and you can’t fault what he’s done," he added. "He broke the track record on his first start and subsequently equalled it on his second start. We have all the respect for Mishriff, Mogul and the Japanese horses, but he ticks the boxes and he’s got home advantage. He knows that track blindfolded."
Mishriff was a battling winner of the Saudi Cup last month and seeks to complete a famous double under 21-year-old jockey David Egan in the Sheema Classic.
"He looks and feels well and hopefully he can do the business," said Egan. "He was full of beans when he came back to Newmarket from Saudi and was raring to go again so it made sense to come here. He’s been to France twice, Riyadh twice and now to Meydan so it’s a credit to Mr [John] Gosden’s team that he’s travelled so well.
"Going for the (2400m) Longines Dubai Sheema Classic rather than the (2000m) Dubai World Cup is something (owner) Prince Faisal and Mr Gosden thought about a lot. Obviously in the back of their minds is what he will do for the rest of the year, whether he can run over 2400m or drop back in trip. Perhaps if Saturday goes well then the Arc could be an end-of-season target.
He added: "I was only born in 1999 but ever since I was a young boy, watching the Dubai World Cup day was a huge thing. It’s just fantastic to be part of it."
Another leading hope for Europe is Mogul, the Longines Hong Kong Vase winner.
"He is a very solid horse who has a lot of experience of travelling and he seems to thrive from that really," trainer Aidan O’Brien said. "Mentality he has a great mind but we are not under any illusions about how competitive the race will be on Saturday with a lot of highly-rated horses in it."
The $5 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (20:10) has drawn a superb international field. The Group 1 race is over 2410m on the turf and has drawn stars from all over the globe.
Walton Street, Star Safari and Dubai Future have all been in fine form for Godolphin at the Dubai World Cup Carnival in recent weeks but each are going to have raise their game again if they are to fend off contenders from England, Ireland, Japan and America.
Striking grey Japanese mare Chrono Genesis, who will be ridden by 34-year-old Yuichi Kitamura, lines up after taking wins in the Takarazuka Kinen in June and the Arima Kinen in December.
"It’s my first time travelling overseas in my life, like Chrono Genesis,” Kitamura said. “Both of us are new faces here and I’m really enjoying staying in Dubai.
“I am very grateful to all her connections to continue to give me riding chances since her debut and I always keep in my mind that I have to fulfil their expectations by bringing out her best performance and best results."
Chrono Genesis had a final gallop on Tuesday morning on the turf track with Kitamura on board. "She kept really good condition even after her first long flight, and I have realised again how tough she is both physically and mentally. I understand it is going to be a competitive race against all the top-class horses. My only task is to bring her best performance in the race.”
Japan will also be represented by Loves Only You, a full sister to Real Steel, the 2016 Dubai Turf winner. Oisin Murphy, champion jockey in England for the pats two years, will ride her.
Lord North is a superb winner of the $4m Dubai Turf.
It’s a first World Cup night success for Frankie Dettori since 2012, although he would probably be the first to admit that he was very much on the best horse.
Lord North, trained by John and Thady Gosden, moved easily throughout and when Dettori invited him to put his stamp on the race, about 300 metres out, he zoomed clear down the outside.
It was a clinical performance by a horse destined to play a part in all the top mile and a quarter races this year. The five-year-old Dubawi gelding has a wonderful turn of foot.
Vin de Garde and Felix chased the winner home, but Al Suhail ran flat and Lord Glitters could never get into contention after initially being short of room when asked to try and get closer from the rear of the field.
Dettori said: "We went a nice pace. I had plenty of horse and I know he stays well, so kicked him early. After that he did the rest.
"He was a handful in the early days, so he got gelded. He’s much more focussed and is an honest horse to go to war in all the big races. I’m sure the Gosdens will have a plan."
Thady Gosden, who has just entered a training partnership with his father John, said: "We were always hoping he would run well as he was in brilliant form out here. But he definitely put that race to bed very well from pretty far back. We will take him home now and then maybe give him a break and target the race he won last year at Ascot."
Lord Glitters has already proved a formidable force in Dubai in recent months and will seek to become the oldest winner of the $4 million Dubai Turf Sponsored By DP World.
The 1800m Group 1 contest has been won by three seven-year-olds but Lord Glitters, 8, would be breaking new ground. The grey has looked better than ever at Meydan this year, winning the Group 1 Jebel Hatta last time at the main expense of Eqtiraan and Al Suhail after an earlier success in the Singspiel Stakes.
His hold-up style makes for exciting viewing. "All is good. We’re happy with the horse and where he is at," trainer David O'Meara said.
Ali Rashid Al Rayhi, the trainer of Eqtiraan, believes his horse faces no easy task turning the tables from a wide draw. "We would have liked an inner draw or something in the middle but this (12) is very wide and we can only hope he steps up and shows what he is made of," he said. "He is a horse that’s in good form, that much we know, but it’s all up to him and we will have to hope he can break well and dictate the pace. He likes doing that and if he’s able to do that he should finish in a strong position."
Watch a replay of the Jebel Hatta
Charlie Appleby says Al Suhail has improved for his Jebel Hatta outing, when he was beaten about half a lengh.
"He’s definitely come forward for the run," he said. "I was delighted with that. It was very much a prep run into the Dubai Turf. People question mark the nine over the eight furlongs, but all it was is that he got tired there and the petrol ran out in the last 100 yards. He went there to go and win his race and just got tired.
"He’s visually come out of it well and any bit of improvement is going to make him very competitive in what looks a good race."
Japanese hope Vin De Garde probably needs a career-best if he is to win but Lord North, brilliant winner of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer, would be considered a better horse than Lord Glitters in England.
"He’s got solid enough form and he seems to love racing. His mind is good so we hope for a good run on Saturday," said Thady Gosden, who holds a joint training licence with his father John in Britain. Like Lord Gliters, Lord North is usually held up for a late burst.
Regal Reality is a non-runner.
Zenden was a stunning all-the-way winner under Antonio Fresu but, tragically, the American challenger broke down badly yards after the winning line and could not be saved.
Fresu was unshipped but unscathed. Naturally, he was shaken and distressed.
It had been an awesome performance by the Carlos David-trained five-year-old, who showed incredible pace to run his rivals ragged from a wide draw in a course record time.
Fresu has just given Zenden a celebratory pat down when his partner went amiss. What a sad postscript after such a display of such speed, power and brilliance.
Red Le Zele, Canvassed and Wildman Jack chased the winner home.
The winning time was 01:09:01.
The 13 runners for our race six on the card, the Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored By Gulf News (18:40), could hardly be more closely matched.
Nine of the 13 runners are rated between 110 and 113, with none of them lower than 107. It’s going to be fast and furious with a close finish looks on the cards. Important Mission will not be involved, as he’s a non-runner.
Doug O’Neill’s Wildman Jack was a brilliant winner of the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint on the turf track last year (in a record time - watch below) but is equally effective on dirt, as the five-year-old showed when winning at Santa Anita in January. "He’s doing great right now - I can’t say that enough," said Leandro Mora, assistant trainer. "He’s the kind of horse who gives you confidence."
Favourite in the international markets is another American raider in Yaupon, who won his first four starts, including twice in Graded company, before failing to make an impact in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Matera Sky, runner-up in the 2019 Golden Shaheen, and Copano Kicking give Japan a strong hand. The pair clashed in Saudi Arabia last month when the latter overcame a slow start to prevail, with Dubawi Stakes winner Switzerland fading to be fourth.
Copano Kicking enjoyed a piece of work on the dirt track under the exercise rider Yoshiki Shibata this week with his handler Akira Murayama supervising him.
Murayama said: "William Buick rode him once last week and he said he couldn’t be happier with him. He is always overexcited and temperamental, so like he has done in Saudi Arabia, he has been training in the trotting ring over the week. There is no worries for his condition."
Keita Tosaki, the jockey of Matera Sky, said: "I have no worries about his condition and movement. He is a veteran horse and has settled into the surroundings without an issue.” Justin and Red Le Zele will also represent Japan.
The home team is led by the Doug Watson-trained Canvassed, who confirmed his wellbeing when coming from well off the pace to overhaul front-running Good Effort in a thrilling Mahab Al Shimaal last time.
Rebel's Romance is an emphatic winner of the UAE Derby. It’s a first win for Charlie Appleby and William Buick in the $750,000 Classic.
The colt clearly relished every yard of the trip, staying on strongly to win going away from the front-running Panadol, who made a bold bid to preserve his unbeaten record.
Panadol burnt off most off the opposition under an attacking ride by Mickael Barzalona but Rebel's Romance loomed up soon after the runners swung into the home straight and quickened away.
New Teasure, who pestered Panadol for the early lead, was third, with Takeru Pegasus, from Japan, fourth.
Japan's main hope, France Go De Ina, never got into it after being anchored in rear.
Rebel's Romance won the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial at Meydan earlier this year before failing to figure in Saudi Arabia last time.
Appleby said: "We’ll be working back from the Dubai World Cup next year. He is still very much a work in progress and he looked much better tonight than he did in Saudi Arabia. I think the biggest attribute to him today is that he was going to stay. We were always confident he was going to stay. Stepping up in trip was going to be his forte."
Buick said of the winner: "He doesn’t have much speed early and I was quite happy with the draw because I knew I could control where I would be and I did. Once I got out, he just bolted. I was a little bit worried I was getting there a little early; a little too quick, but that was some performance tonight. He’s really come on and he’s a big horse, but he’s still a shell. He really knows how to use his power now."
Extravagant Kid has scooped the £1m Al Quoz Sprint. That’s a first American-trained winner of the race.
What an international party this is proving to be with runners from France, UAE, England and the United States winning the first four races on the card.
Extravagant Kid, trained by Brendan Walsh, brought smart sprinting form to the race and pounced later under Ryan Moore.
Walsh has now had two runners at the meeting and both have won. He also landed the UAE Derby in 2019 with Plus Que Parfait.
The Irish-born trainer, a former assistant to Godolphin, played down is part in the victory. He said: "No credit must go to me, I just put the saddle on. My lad here looked after him and he was very pleased with him."
The runners ended up splitting into two groups and Moore admitted afterwards it was “a very messy race and we had to switch”. The stands’ side was where you wanted to be, although initially only four raced there.
Moore said: "It was a very messy race. The speed looked like it was going to be stands’ side but we had to make a decision. Space Blues and Khaadem were going, they were the best horses and gave me a bit of toe. The horse ran a super race at Keeneland (in the Breeders’ Cup). He is a very talented horse. You’ll have to watch out for Brendan when he comes back here!"
Many believed the race would be at Space Blues’ mercy but he could never get into contention.
Equilateral made a bold bid from the front on the stands' side but Extravagant Kid and Final Song wore him down, while on the other side of the track the isolated Acklam Express kept on well to be a fine third. happened.
Motafaawit was fifth but Khaadem never got any cover and, in common with Space Blues, disappointed.
Saeed bin Suroor, trainer, Final Song, said: "She ran a big race. She moved to the middle, but she finished her race really good, she managed to come second. This is her trip, six furlongs (1200m). We’re going to keep her at the same trip. We are going take her back now to Newmarket and find a race for her in Europe."
Salem bin Ghadayer believes the unbeaten *Panadol *is primed for a big run in the Group 2 UAE Derby Sponsored By Emirates NBD (18:05). The $750,000 Classic carries Group 2 status and is over 1900m on the dirt.
Panadol made all in the Al Bastakiya on Super Saturday last time, when he won at the main expense of Speight'spercomete, El Patriota and Fire Group. He meets that trio again. Watch a replay below.
Bin Ghadayer said: "Panadol is ready now. When he first came to us he needed time to fill out a bit and we gave him the time. He has shown in his two starts that he has class."
Speight'spercomete’s owner/breeder Charles Fipke said: “This horse has done nothing but improve. Doug Watson and his team always liked him and told me he was a nice horse, he was very disappointing first time but ran better second time. His two starts this year have been much more promising and he has had a clean preparation since Super Saturday, having had a small issue before that race which affected his schedule.
"Obviously he has ground to make up on Panadol, who beat him then, and there are strong American and Japanese challengers this time but he should run well."
Musabbeh Al Mheiri, trainer of Fire Group, said. "He is a brilliant horse, whose just not had his day so far. We would have preferred a better draw (12), but if he can break well he should be able to get himself in the mix."
Japanese challengers France Go De Ina, Pink Kamehameha and Takeru Pegasus add great intrigue. The first-named perhaps has the strongest form of the trio and his work rider Masaki Takano said: "He has accomplished all he needed even before the trip and he has trained well since he has arrived, so he showed his flexibility and moved nicely, breathing well during the gallop. He is going into the race a fit horse."
Mouheeb was a game wnner of the UAE 2000 Guineas last time (watch above) and trainer Nicholas Bachalard said: "He went very well in his final work and I am very happy we made the right decision to miss the Saudi Derby and Super Saturday. We always though the 1600m of the UAE 2000 Guineas would suit him but that he would stay further so, I guess, we will find out on Saturday. I could not be happier with him."
Easy UAE Oaks winner Mnasek adds another fascinating dimension to a terrific race.
Mark Johnston has been talking about Subjectivist's runaway win - his first on Dubai World Cup day since Fruits Of Love landed the 1999 Dubai Sheema Classic.
He said: "We’ve had Carnival winners but this is the first success on World Cup night for 22 years.
"But frankly, we hadn’t been bringing the right horses. We came here today thinking surely he was the one to beat. He was a Group 1 winner on his last outing, he didn’t have to improve – he just had to run up to his best. He had all the credentials.
"People doubted him on the ground but he’d just never run on anything this fast. When I walked the course I didn’t think I’d seen a turf track in the world in a better condition than this.
"All the ducks were in a row and there was no reason he shouldn’t run up to his best, which he has done."
The Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and Goodwood Cup will now be tagets.
It’s time for Group 1 action on the grass with the Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored By Azizi Developments over 1200m (17:30). The race carries prize-money of $1 million.
Memories linger of Blue Point winning two years ago for Charlie Appleby. He went on to win twice at Royal Ascot in the space of five days.
The time, Appleby relies on Space Blues, who enhanced his reputation wth victory in the in the second running of $1 million Saudi Cup's 1351 Turf Sprint last month. The chestnut is seeking a sixth straight success and Appleby is not concerned that his only previous run at Meydan ended in a disappointing defeat.
"You can put a line through that," Appleby said. "He was fresh and probably slightly under-trained going into it because we were potentially using that as a prep, but it was obviously too bad a run to contemplate going on to the Al Quoz last year.
"This year, he’s a different horse. He’s stronger and got a bit quicker. As we’ve seen in has last few starts, he travels for fun."
He added: "Dropping back to the straight six doesn’t worry me. I think there’ll be plenty of pace on. As respects to the ground, I agree that we thought he would be more comfortable with ease in the ground, but when he won at Deauville, it was like a road and it was quick enough ground in Saudi in his last start.
"Pace-wise, he could be potentially vulnerable with some proper speedballs, but for me, he’s got stronger, quicker and is the big favourite for the night. I’m looking forward to seeing him get another Group 1 tag under his belt."
Appleby also runs Royal Crusade (Mickael Barzalona) and Man Of Promise (Richard Mullen) but they look up against it.
Standing in the way of Space Blues are two big contenders from the stable of Charlie Hills in Equilateral, successful twice at the Carnival this year, and Khaadem. The latter has always threatened to win a big sprint.
American challenger Extravagant Kid, aclose fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in November, cannot be left out of calculations, while Speak In Colours will attempt to give Joseph O’Brien a first success in Dubai.
Subjectivist has thumped his rivals in the Dubai Gold Cup.
The colt, trained in England by Mark Johnston and ridden by Joe Fanning, disputed the early lead with For The Top and then kicked away from the top of the home straight.
From then on, the outcome was never in doubt as it was clear that Subjectivist was in a great rhythm and having no problem with the quicker ground.
He won in a new track record.
Johnston has ridden many great stayers and clearly has another exciting stamina-blessed horse on his hands.
“He can be quite keen but he settled well. He's a good horse and this is brilliant," he said.
“There' some juice in the ground but I think he will go on anything. He’s versatile and is a lovely horse."
German challenger Walderbe was almost six lengths back in third, with Away He Goes another neck away in third.
Secret Advisor was only fourth, never able to land a blow, with Spanish Mission plugging on into fifth.
Charlie Appleby was dominant during the Dubai World Cup Carnival meetings and his Secret Advisor is likely to take plenty of stopping in the Dubai Gold Cup Sponsored By Al Tayer Motors (16:50). The $750,000 Group 2 race is our first on turf today and over 3200m.
A two-time winner at Meydan, he ran an eye-catching trial when third in the Red Sea Turf Handicap in Riyadh last month. He is weighted to turn the tables on Spanish Mission, who was a neck ahead of him in second, and confirm his superiority over the globetrotting Red Verdon, who was fourth.
"It’s going to be an exciting night’s racing," Appleby said. "Secret Advisor is in good order. If he reproduces that run from Saudi, he’s going to be very competitive and he is a potential international favourite for the Gold Cup at the moment."
Flashback: Watch how Melbourne Cup winer Cross Counter won the Dubai Gold Cup two years ago
Red Verdon will be running in his eighth country today. He has raced in Italy, France, Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Saudi Arabia and, naturally, his native England. "Red Verdon knows his way around the world at this stage but we were pleased with him in Saudi Arabia where he ran a fine race,” trainer Ed Dunlop said. “He is drawn a little bit wide but it is two miles so we will take what happens.”
Subjectivist was last seen making all in the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak in France last October. That win was achieved in the mud but Mark Johnston, his trainer, does not believe he is reliant on such conditions.
"He is a progressive horse as he showed in France and that did appear to be a career best," Johnston said “The race in France was obviously on soft ground and Subjectivist has some very good form on soft ground but he has just never raced on quick ground so there is nothing to say that he won’t handle it.”
Another European challenger is Walderbe, the only German raider at the meeting who arrived in Dubai a week ago. He worked at Meydan on Wednesday and trainer Ralf Rohne said afterwards: "Walderbe is in great form. He travelled really well to Dubai and cantered over 2000m together with the English horses. He looks good and I am very happy with him."
Secret Ambition has run his rivals ragged in the Godolphin Mile.
One of four runners in the race for Satish Seemar, he jumped smartly from gate two and grabbed the rail under Tadgh O’Shea.
The combination set strong fractions but Secret Ambition, the oldest runner in the line-up at the age of 8, kept pouring on the pace and drew well clear in the closing stages. The winning distance was six lengths.
Golden Goal, who missed the kick, kept on for second with Avant Garde staying on stoutly to grab third from a long way back.
The first three home all raced. on the rail with the winning time again swift. Snapper Sinclair and Urban Icon were the next pair home.
The well-fancied Midnight Sands, seeking a seventh successive win at Meydan, was well enough placed during the first half of the race but faded to finish eighth.
A jubilant O’Shea was swift to dedicate his win to the late HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, whose death this week has been mourned around the world.
He said: “The whole racing world sadly lost Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum this week and I want to dedicate this to him. It was when I was champion apprentice in Ireland in 2001 that Sheikh Hamdan sponsored a trip to Dubai and I’m coming back here ever since. I have been here a long time and it wouldn’t have been possible without him.”
He added: "“I’m only a small part of big team, and it’s great for all the team and credit must go to them. Satish told me the other day he was the best horse in the race and how right he was."
Seemar said: “All week I’ve been saying that in this race there was no more experienced horse for this distance. At the post position draw, he was prominent in every race they would show him in the videos.
"He’s the most deserving horse in this field and most experienced and it’s perfect. With us they improve as they get older and this has worked out well. As planned, Tadhg did it by the book. This is what we live for here in our jobs. There's nothing better than having a winner on this night."
Doug Watson has landed two of the past four renewals of the $750,000 Godolphin Mile Sponsored By Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City - District One (16:15) and his Midnight Sands is expected to make a bold bid in the Group 2 event, which is over 1600m on the dirt.
The five-year-old entire has won his past six starts at Meydan and looked in rude health when landing the Burj Nahaar over course and distance on Super Saturday. He had Chiefdom (second), Tuz (third), stablemate Golden Goal (fourth) and Blown By Wind (sixth) behind that day. Watch a replay below.
Satish Seemar has yet to land the Godolphin Mile but has four live contenders in Secret Ambition, Roman Rosso, Tuz and Rodaini. Roma Rosso and secret Ambition both ran creditably behind Salute The Soldier in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 last time and drop in class/trip, while Tuz caught the eye when a staying-on third in the Burj Nahaar.
"Tuz is a hidden talent for me and not many know how good he is,” Seemar said. “I think he could be the dark horse in the race. He’s had a few minor problems last year but showed talent and by the time he got 100 per cent it was the end of the season, so I’m very excited to see what he can do.
"In the case of Roman Rosso a lot of people might think he’s going over the wrong distance but I will say that I’ve never had this horse in better shape Secret Ambition is the most experienced and ridden by Tadhg O’Shea, who knows the horse well and knows the race well.
"We have the last-minute addition of Rodaini, who I’ve always thought highly of but who never had the opportunity to participate in all the right races before. Now he’s won his way in and earned his place.
Avant Garde has recently changed hands, having been sold to Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuami’s RRR Racing. The Claiming Crown Rapid Transit Stakes winner will be sporting the orange and black silks of his new owner come raceday.
Snapper Sinclairr and Ambassadorial are among others in the 15-strong line-up who add depth.
It’s first blood to France as Deryan is a superb winner of the Dubai Kahayla Classic.
The game and consistent six-year-old, trained by Didier Guillemin and ridden by Ioritz Mendizabal, won in a new track record.
That's given us an early clue that the dirt track is very slick today.
Af Alwajel and Mubasher Al Khalediah chased the winner home, with Hajres fourth and Al Roba'a Al Khali fifth.
Drawn in stall nine, Mendizabal got across to the rail early on and tracked the leaders.
The strong pace ensured the field were string out in the closing stages but Deryan was still on the bridle 200 metres out. With those around him under pressure, and it looked a case of how far he would win by.
Once in front, Deryan did not have much left in his tank, but that was understandable given the gallop and that he had been a little gassy early on. Af Alwajel stuck gamely to his task but was still three quarters of a length behind at the line.
“He did it really well this time,” said Guillemin, who had lifted the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan on the same card with The Right Man in 2017. “He was quite nervous last time when he ran in Riyadh. This time, he was much calmer and we rode him differently, a little further back. I’m extremely proud to win a Group 1 here and to win it for owner Sheikh Mansour is just amazing.”
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nayan bred and owns the chestnut winner. His Rabbah De Carrère also lifted the trophy in 2014.
Here are all the races coming our way this afternoon and this evening.
A fabulous card gets under way with the Dubai Kahayla Classic Sponsored By Mubadala (15:45). The Group I contest is over 2000m on dirt with $750,000 up for grabs.
Nine of the 13 runners boast an official rating of between 117 and 122, which suggests we could be in for a thriller. Two prolific greys, Mutwakel Al Khalediah and Mubasher Al Khalediah, are marginally highest-rated.
Three of the runners will carry the silks of Yas Racing with the Frederic Sanchez-trained Hayyan, who will be ridden by Richard Mullen, perhaps their most intriguing contender. Brraq and Deryan will also represent them.
Sanchez, a former jockey who had a ride in the race in 2002, said: “We are only a small yard, so I ride him myself here in the morning. The horse is in very good form. He is a very good traveller, as he already travelled as a four-year-old and is used to it. The question remains how he will adapt to the track as he hasn’t run on it yet.”
By contrast, RB Money To Burn has been a Meydan regular and she was a fluent winner of the Group 2 Mazrat Al Ruwayah last month. Watch a replay above.
Trainer Eric Lemartinel said: “Since then she has been ticking over nicely. She has been drawn on the outside, but that is not a problem.”
Rb Frynchh Dude will have his supporters while AF Alwajel is favourably drawn in stall 1 and rider Tadhg O’Shea is hopeful of a big run. He said "Stall 1 is a good draw for him and we believe he will do well as he had a good workout last Sunday over this distance at the dirt track. The last time he ran it was the first time he was going over a mile and a quarter and we feel he’ll improve for it. He’s trained well over the trip again and is looking strong."
Trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi is hopeful of a bold show from Al Zahir, who will run out of gate 3. He said: "The draw is a good one and if he jumps well and keeps pace with the rest he will have a definite chance. He runs on dirt after a long time, but he seems to have adapted well to conditions."
Welcome to our coverage of the Dubai World Cup day.
What a spectacular meeting we have ahead of us with star runners from more than a dozen countries taking part on a glittering nine-race card where there is $26.5million up for grabs.
Six of the races are Group 1 contests with the highlight, of course, being the 25th running of the $12 million Dubai World Cup.
The 2000m contest, run on the dirt, has been won by a number of greats such as Cigar, Dubai Millennium, Curlin, Animal Kingdom, California Chrome, Arrogate and Thunder Snow since first being run in 1996.
Will we see another American-trained winner of the Dubai World Cup tonight? Here's a reminder of Arrogate's brilliance
This year’s running looks wide open, with American challengers Mystic Guide and Jesus Team heading the 14-strong line-up.
The Dubai World Cup will feature raiders from Japan and France, and provide a wonderful finale at 20:50 but there is stacks to enjoy before the grand finale.
Many of the runners on the card have been exercising at the track this week and today we will crown champions on turf and dirt over a range of distances, with the Purebred Arabians getting the show under way in the Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic at 15:45.
The other races at the highest level will be the Al Quoz Sprint (17:30), Dubai Golden Shaheen (18:40), Dubai Turf (19:30) and Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (20:10).
It will also be a hugely emotional meeting after the death this week of legendary owner-breeder HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. His famous blue and white silks, twice carried to Dubai World Cup glory, including above with Invasor, will feature in several races.
The fixture will be beamed into homes around the worldwide TV audience by 40 broadcasters.
It's a sunny, warm day and the going on the turf course in good. Conditions on the dirt course are described as fast.
There promises to be drama and excitement the whole way and we will provide previews, snap reports, replays and reaction.