Oceanographer books place in Melbourne Cup

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Trainer Charlie Appleby and Oceanographer.

It did not look good for Oceanographer’s supporters rounding the home turn, with the market leader still last and the pacesetting Tom Melbourne looked set to score after going clear.

However, once straightened up, Oceanographer engaged overdrive and got up to land the extended mile-and-a-half prize by half a length.

Trainer Charlie Appleby said: “I saw him on the track this morning jumping and kicking, so we knew he was in good form.”

Appleby will also saddle Qewy, Saeed bin Suroor is set to run beautiful romance and Secret Number and John O’Shea has ante-post favourite Hartnell.

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Al Mheiri doubles up at UAE season-opener in Jebel Ali

Peter Ward 29/10/2016
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Al Muhairi got off to a perfect start.

Promising apprentice George Buckell was in the saddle for Champion Owner Sheikh Hamdan and produced a perfectly-timed challenge having taken his time until halfway.

The pair set sail for home with 300m to run, soon bursting clear and never looking likely to be caught. Buckell said: “He is a talented sprinter but has not been easy to train. Last season he did nearly all his work on the treadmill but he is like a new horse this time.

“He has plenty of natural speed and hopefully will build on this with a clear preparation between races.”

The trainer had combined with stable jockey, Fernando Jara, to win the preceding 1600m handicap with the ultra consistent Enery.

It was a brave effort from the winner who was only third entering the final 50m, passing both Pupil and eventual runner-up, Almohtaseb in the closing stages. Jara said: “This horse really deserved another win as he has to run so many brave races in defeat. He always tries his utmost and is a tough customer.”

The first race of the season, a 1950m handicap, provided the perfect opportunity for Erwan Charpy and new stable jockey Antonio Fresu to christen their alliance in style with Tadmir.

The maiden on the card was over the minimum trip of 1000m in which Bruno Reis and Rashed Bourely combined with Salvadori.

The Emirates Racing Authority have staged three bloodstock sales in 2016 and two trainers and owners were left celebrating speedy returns on their new acquisitions.

For Nasir Askar, the victory of the Satish Seemar-trained Secret Ambition in a 1400m handicap under Richard Mullen leaves the new owner celebrating a 100 per cent strike rate.

Mullen said: “These sales are ideal for attracting new owners and that is exactly the case with Nasir; what a start for him with his very first runner.”

Pat Dobbs was in the saddle for Doug Watson aboard the aptly named Fast Enough who proved just that in the concluding 1200m handicap. His new owner Mohamed Khalifa Al Basti opened his UAE account last season with 10 winners.

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Hawkbill and Racing History bidding for glory

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Three-year-old Hawkbill (Charlie Appleby/William Buick, drawn five) has already triumphed at G1 level this season, having ran on gamely to beat The Gurkha by half a length in the 10-furlong Coral-Eclipse on soft ground at Sandown Park, UK, in July.

The Kitten’s Joy colt finished eighth in the G1 Juddmonte International Stakes over an extended mile and a quarter at York in August, and came home ninth in a strong renewal of the 10-furlong G1 QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, Ireland, on September 10.

Racing History finished sixth on his only start so far this year in the G1 QIPCO Champion Stakes over two furlongs shorter at Ascot on October 15.

The lightly-raced four-year-old colt was fourth in the same race 12 months earlier and had subsequent G1 scorers Cannock Chase and Fascinating Rock behind him when winning the G3 Winter Hill Stakes, also over 10 furlongs, at Windsor in August, 2015.

Charlie Appleby reported: “I have been looking forward to getting Hawkbill out to a mile and a half.

“As we know, he has proven form on soft ground and this looks like a very suitable race for him.”

Saeed bin Suroor said: “Racing History ran well in the Champion Stakes after a very long lay-off.

“He needed the race and has worked well since on the Limekilns. Any rain will suit but he is in good form.”

The field of 10 for the Grosser Preis von Bayern also includes German G1 winners Girolamo and Iquitos, Deauville G2 scorer Savoir Vivre and G1 Investec Derby seventh Algometer.

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