Appleby-trained gelding makes a winning local debut as Seemar unveiled a potential candidate for the Group 3 UAE 20000 Guineas inn Bendoog
Godolphin’s lightly-raced Valiant Prince justified hot favouritism and made a winning local debut in the Emirates Airline Handicap, the feature on a seven-race Sunday afternoon card at Meydan Racecourse.
Trained by Charlie Appleby, the Dubawi four-year-old gelding was given a confident ride by William Buick, overcoming stall 15 and coasting to a comfortable three-quarter length success over Al Salt, who ran an excellent race in second for trainer Erwan Charpy and jockey Dane O’Neill.
“I was conscious that he’d been off a long time and was a little bit fresh today,” said Buick. “He’s an out and out miler and so it suited him today.”
Sophie Cretien, Assistant to the absent Appleby, added: “he’s a lovely horse with a nice pedigree and nice physique. He’s done everything right so far and will gain plenty of confidence from that win. Charlie will pick out a nice target for him now.”
Appleby and Buick narrowly missed out on a double when Echo Point was beaten a neck by Al Madhar in the closing 2000metre turf handicap, also sponsored by Emirates Airline.
The Musabbeh Al Mheiri-trained five-year-old had run well on two previous starts at Abu Dhabi and appreciated the step back to this trip, battling well for the win under Antonio Fresu.
“I always liked this horse,” said the rider after his 32nd win of the campaign. “Over the 1400metres at Abu Dhabi he was finishing his races well so I thought this would suit him, although probably about 1800metres would be his ideal distance.”