Ghaiyyath took the step up to G3 level in his stride with a convincing victory in the Masar Godolphin Autumn Stakes over a mile on day two of the Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket yesterday.
The two-year-old Dubawi colt, an easy winner of a maiden over the same course and distance on September 28, was slightly slow leaving the stalls and tracked the leaders in fourth of the eight runners under William Buick.
Relegated to a close sixth at the halfway stage he quickened smartly between horses at the two-furlong marker to take second soon after.
Ghaiyyath reeled in Dream Today entering the final furlong and stayed on powerfully in the closing stages to win by a length and three-quarters in a quick time of 1m 35.92s on ground described as good, good to firm in places.
Trainer Charlie Appleby said: “We were confident that Ghaiyyath had come forward from his last run and I was delighted with his performance today.
“We didn’t want to keep making the running and I was very pleased to see him take a lead, get into a nice rhythm and pick up when asked.
“Ghaiyyath is a horse that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed has a lot of faith in. He is in the Racing Post Trophy (G1, 1m, Doncaster, October 28) but potentially we might put him away for the year. We will discuss it on Monday.
“His forte is going to be stepping up in trip, hopefully to a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half, and we hope that he can go for a Derby trial in the spring.
“Physically, he has always been a very imposing horse and a good-looking animal. He is a big horse with a nice-sized engine and has always been enthusiastic at home.”
Meanwhile in Melbourne a close second in the G1 Caulfield Guineas by Kementari and a third placing to Alizee in the G1 Thousand Guineas has confirmed the strength and depth of Godolphin’s Australian three-year-old team.
While the frustration of the two placings was acute, trainer James Cummings shrugged it off as he looked to the future with two of the country’s best three-year-olds.
“Kementari had already shown us he is a genuinely classy colt and he proved it with that run,” Cummings said. “He didn’t have the best of luck, but he put himself into the race and had it won until a few strides from the line.”
Ghaiyyath, Promising Run and Rastrelli will all bid for further success at Newmarket on day two of the Dubai Future Champions Festival today.
Two-year-old Ghaiyyath (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle) lines up in the mile G3 Masar Godolphin Autumn Stakes following a comprehensive maiden success over the same course and distance on September 28, when he made all to score by five lengths.
The Dubawi colt, who was third over the same trip on debut at Doncaster on September 15, takes on eight rivals including G2 Royal Lodge Stakes fourth Petrus, G3 Sol-ario Stakes third Arbalet and Naas maiden winner Flag Of Honour.
“I was pleased with Ghaiyyath’s course and distance victory and he came out of that race very well,” said Appleby. “This looks the logical next step and I am confident that he is going into the race in very good order. I am hopeful of a very bold showing.”
Promising Run (Saeed bin Suroor/Pat Cosgrave), who captured the G2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket in 2015, goes in the G3 Darley Club Stakes over nine furlongs.
The four-year-old Hard Spun Filly has won at G2 level earlier this year, when running on strongly to take the nine-furlong Al Rashidiya at Meydan in January, and was fourth on her return from a break in a Goodwood Listed contest over a furlong further on September 27.
She opposes 11 others headed by G2 victor Sovereign Debt, G3 scorer Fabricate, G1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp fourth Robin Of Navan and York handicap winner Fidaawy.
“Promising Run is a nice filly, who always tries hard” said bin Suroor. “She has come on for her run at Goodwood and is ready to go. This is the right trip for her and I am looking for a better result.”
Rastrelli (Appleby/Doyle) comfortably won a mile nursery handicap at Newmarket on September 28 and the two-year-old colt steps up in class and trip for the 10-furlong Listed Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes.
“Rastrelli did his best work towards the end over a mile last time and I feel that the step up to 10 furlongs is going to suit. He goes into this race in good shape,” added Appleby.
The trainer already had cause to celebrate when three-year-old colt First Nation won the Old Rowley Cup Handicap on the first day of the Festival yesterday.
Usherette and Arabian Hope try for a first G1 victory in the Sun Chariot Stakes over a mile at Newmarket, UK, on Saturday.
Five-year-old Usherette (Andre Fabre/Mickael Barzalona) has already gained a major victory on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course, having stayed on strongly to beat G1 winners Arabian Queen and Amazing Maria in the nine-furlong G2 Dahlia Stakes in May, 2016.
Usherette went on to readily capture the G2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot the following month and the Shamardal mare, third in this year’s G1 Prix d’Ispahan, steps back up in class after a short-neck success in a mile Listed race at Maisons-Laffitte on September 5.
Andre Fabre said: “Usherette had a nice, confidence-boosting win last time out and we are looking forward to running her.
“Hopefully, she can perform well and we can look at taking her out to Del Mar for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1, 9f, November 4) afterwards.”
Arabian Hope (Saeed bin Suroor/Jimmy Quinn) also heads into the Sun Chariot Stakes in winning form, with the three-year-old filly being the comfortable winner of the G3 Istanbul Trophy over a mile at Veliefendi, Turkey, on September 2.
The daughter of Distorted Humor ran an excellent race to finish third in the G1 Falmouth Stakes, run over a mile of Newmarket’s July course in July, and gained a brave head victory in a York Listed race over the same distance in June.
Saeed bin Suroor commented: “Arabian Hope is a very tough filly, who always tries her hardest in races.
“She is ready to go and I am looking forward to seeing her take on some very good fillies and mares.”
A field of 13 for the Sun Chariot Stakes, in which Arabian Hope is drawn two and Usherette nine, also includes dual G1 scorer Roly Poly, last season’s G1 Matron Stakes runner-up Persuasive and this year’s Duke Of Cambridge Stakes winner Qemah.