Measured Time highlights Meydan four-timer for Charlie Appleby

By Sports Desk January 26, 2024

Measured Time capped a fine evening for Charlie Appleby and owners Godolphin when winning the Jebel Hatta at Meydan in great style.

The 6-5 favourite was the pick of three runners for the Moulton Paddocks handler in the nine-furlong Group One and was never far away, tracking the pace set by the stablemate Highland Avenue, while also keeping a close eye on Saeed bin Suroor’s 1000 Guineas heroine Mawj.

The son of Frankel proved to be in the ideal spot to strike rounding the turn for home and stormed clear when big-race pilot William Buick pressed the button, surging to a one-and-three-quarter-length success from Appleby’s Ottoman Fleet, who stayed on to provide Appleby with a one-two in the ‘Fashion Friday’ feature.

Having taken his record to five victories from six starts, the four-year-old’s Jebel Hatta success earns him a spot in the Dubai Turf on Dubai World Cup night, with his trainer confirming that would be next on the agenda.

“That was our pencilled plan coming into this evening,” said Appleby.

“Master Of The Seas was due to go to America for the Pegasus and with this horse coming through the grades, we weren’t 100 per cent sure he would book his ticket, so we didn’t send Master Of The Seas thinking he could definitely be a runner on World Cup night in the Dubai Turf as well.

“This horse has gone and won his invitation into it and now has a great chance of a bonus. I would rather have two darts than one.

“He’s a half-brother to Rebel’s Romance and we know what that horse has done over a mile and a half and that’s why we started going that route. When he ran with a hood at Kempton, Will felt he just felt numb and having removed the hood since then, it’s been the changing of him.”

Recent carnival winner Mysterious Night (11-10 favourite) got the evening up and running for Sheikh Mohammed’s racing operation when Buick weaved his way to the front aboard Appleby’s four-year-old in the Group Two Al Fahidi Fort.

“The gap looked like it was open and then it was closing, but I had already committed and I’m just delighted he is showing his class now,” said Buick.

“It is a great training performance by Charlie and the team at home to bring him back just seven days after his win last week and he’s a horse we held in high-regard as a two-year-old, so I’m delighted he has shown us what he is capable of.

“He’s a horse who wears his heart on his sleeve and put in a big performance last week. He’s a horse who is still on the up.”

There was further success for the Moulton Paddocks handler when Star Of Mystery (7-4 favourite) supplemented her Al Wasl Stakes success by flying home in the hands of Mickael Barzalona to pip Czech speedster Ponntos in the shadow of the post.

Appleby said: “We’ll probably come back here on Super Saturday first and then look at what happens World Cup night.

“The six-furlong races back in Europe are a stiff six there and over five I think she gets into a better rhythm.

“Over six she just travels a little bit too generous, whereas over five they just put her on her head a little bit early doors and it just allows her to run the race the right way round.”

Appleby made it four on the night and Buick three as Siskany grabbed victory in a photo finish to the Al Khail Trophy.

The main action on the dirt saw Doug Watson land his first Group One winner with the Pat Dobbs-ridden Kabirkhan claiming the Al Maktoum Challenge in the manner of a horse well worth his place in the Dubai World Cup line-up.

“I’m excited and it’s our first Group One winner, it really means a lot,” said Watson.

“There’s not many of them for a stable like ours to run in, so it is really nice and I’m delighted for the owners – Pat gave him a great ride. I think we knew turning in where he was going and it’s just really nice to have such a nice horse.

“We will see what they (owner Tlek Mukanbetkaliyev) want to do and there is a third leg (of the Al Maktoum Challenge) on Super Saturday, but if they want to go straight to the World Cup, I would be very happy with that and he ran great after a long layoff from September so I don’t think it would be any problem getting him fit.”

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