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Al Suhail bounces back to form with emphatic success at Newmarket

Thu 9 Jul 2020

Al Suhail made the most of a significant drop in class to get his career back on track with an authoritative victory in the Bahrain International Sir Henry Cecil Stakes at Newmarket.

Having finished down the field on his return to action in last month’s 2000 Guineas, the son of Dubawi demonstrated what he is capable of with clear-cut success in the Listed prize.

Travelling well throughout the mile contest, the 5-2 shot put the race to bed in a matter of strides when sent on by William Buick to cross the line six lengths clear of last year’s Superlative Stakes winner Mystery Power, who passed Ropey Guest late on to take second.

Appleby said: “This horse was pleasing us before the Guineas and his homework has always been electric. The challenge with him is himself, as we know with the family.

“In the Guineas he was loaded up early and it was a big field. We intended to try to ride him to come. James said he hit the lids and could never get him back. After three furlongs, to be honest, his race was run and we had to put a line through that.

“We just felt if this horse keeps it together, he has plenty of ability there. The ground was there to suit him today. The more rain that came, the more I felt it was going to enhance his chances.

“Hopefully this will be a nice experience for him coming down the road and doing it as easy as that. He has got plenty of confidence – it is just about channelling it in the right direction.”

Although Al Suhail was given a quote of 14-1 for the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, a step back up to Group One company might be put on hold for the time being.

Appleby added: “His pedigree said maybe we should be stepping up in trip. I did have him entered in the Dante and when I saw the ground had changed this morning from good to firm to good to soft, I was kicking myself I hadn’t gone down that route. The only thing that has made me feel a bit better is that William has said he is a miler.

“He has only got a Listed win behind him at the end of the day. I could maybe take a softer route with him, but I have no targets at the moment. There are plenty of options at the lower level for him and we will maybe try to work back from something a bit punchy.”

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