Charlie Appleby labelled global traveller Rebel’s Romance as the horse best equipped to bring his A-game to the big stage in Saturday’s Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.
Rebel’s Romance put together a five-race unbeaten sequence in 2022 that culminated in victory over Stone Age in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland.
The five-year-old also triumphed in Listed and Group Three company in Britain and in two German Group Ones at Hoppegarten and Cologne.
Rebel’s Romance had to miss his intended prep race in the Dubai City Of Gold earlier this month, but Appleby is confident he is firing on all cylinders ahead of his Group One assignment.
Appleby said: “Rebel’s Romance is the most impressive horse on the night, just look at his record. He knows how to perform on the big stage and his last three starts were all won impressively in strong fields.
“He is suited by a flat, conventional track as he’s a big, galloping horse. He’s certainly one we could head back to America with.
“He had a minor setback which happened for a reason, and rather than get sucked into running him on Super Saturday we gave him a spin on the turf course.”
Appleby holds a typically strong hand across World Cup night, fielding two contenders in the Dubai Turf over nine furlongs.
Master Of The Seas was a fast-finishing third in the Jebel Hatta on his most recent run, while Nations Pride was a Group Two winner last month over 10 furlongs.
The Godolphin handler said: “Master Of The Seas is strong in mind and body and was a bit unlucky on his last start.
“He’s come out of it well, and remembering he finished second in the Guineas there is no doubting his ability, while James Doyle knows him.
“The nine furlongs puts a bit more of a challenge on Nations Pride, but if there’s a gallop it will assist him. I’m aware that the draw (stalls 10 and 16) for both horses could have been better.”
Siskany is the ante-post favourite for the Dubai Gold Cup after winning a Group Three on his Meydan return and he is joined by Global Storm in the two-mile contest.
Appleby said: “Siskany comes into the Gold Cup on the back of a nice win. He has a gear change and a turn of foot. It looks like there will be a pace angle, which is good for him.
“Global Storm finished third in the City Of Gold after Rebel’s Romance skipped the race with a setback.”
At the other end of the distance scale, Al Suhail contests the Al Quoz Sprint over six furlongs on the back of two Meydan wins this winter.
Appleby added: “Al Suhail is a six-year-old that is getting older but stronger. He has a good racing mind, is in great shape and thinks he’s King Kong.
“His draw in eight is a concern, and we will try to get a tow into the race.”We have moved! Find Racing TV on channel 424, our new home on Sky
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