There were wild celebrations at Meydan Racecourse after Kabirkhan stormed into the Dubai World Cup picture with a runaway victory in the $1million G1 Maktoum Challenge [Presented by Longines] – the feature race of the new ‘Fashion Friday.’
The Kazakhstan-owned colt had 30 supporters from his home country on course to witness his four and three-quarter length demolition job which gave Champion Trainer Doug Watson a first Thoroughbred Group 1.
Ridden by Pat Dobbs, this was an effortless victory which earned the four-year-old – a handicap winner just two weeks before – an automatic starting place in the $12million Dubai World Cup on March 30th.
“He might be the best mile and a quarter horse I’ve ever trained,” said Watson. “We’ll see what the owners want to do next but I’m glad he’s in our yard. I’m delighted for our team, Pat and of course everybody in Kazakhstan.”
Dobbs, riding his first Thoroughbred G1 winner in the UAE, added; “this is massive for everyone, especially Doug. He’s such a good mover, he [Kabirkhan] doesn’t feel like he’s doing the times he is. Doug has a smile on his face whenever he sees him.”
Appleby Fires in Turf Four-timer
Charlie Appleby is the man on Meydan’s turf and he fired in a tremendous quadruple; the highlight of which was Measured Time, who cruised home in the G1 Jebel Hatta [Presented by Longines.]
The winner of the G2 Al Rashidiya last time out, the Frankel colt had a tough field to beat here, including dual G1 winner Mawj, but always looked the most likely victor under William Buick, beating stablemate Ottoman Fleet comfortably.
“I’m delighted, obviously,” said the Godolphin trainer after his first Group 1 win of 2024. “We knew it was a big step up with Mawj in there – a Classic winner and a filly we hold close to our hearts.
“This fellow is a half brother to [G1 winner] Rebel’s Romance, so he had the pedigree. He’ll likely go straight to the Dubai Turf now.”