Endless Victory struck the front in the nick of time to book his ticket to a Classic trial by winning the bet365 EBF ‘Confined’ Novice Stakes at Newmarket.

Trained by Charlie Appleby, the son of Teofilo was well-backed prior to the 10-furlong event and was sent off the even-money favourite in the hands of Godolphin number one William Buick.

A taking winner on his debut at Wolverhampton in the winter, he confirmed that promise by pulling out all the stops to run down Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Salamanca, with the winning distance only a short head.

The colt – a full-brother to Appleby’s Melbourne Cup hero Cross Counter – holds an entry in the Dante, but the Moulton Paddocks handler suggested it could be the Lingfield Derby Trial on May 11 that proves his next port of call as he shuffles his swelling Classic hand.

Appleby said: “They’re all in the same boat, he had obviously just won around Wolverhampton (previously) and has come here for his first start on turf.

“It looked a sensible race on paper and they are probably a nice field of horses going forward and for our fellow to do what he’s done, I’m very pleased.

“I think he is a horse that will progress as we go up in trip. Everyone will be asking is he a Derby horse? Well, he’s still got a bit to do yet and we’ll see how much he improves for this run and whether we look at one of the trials.

“Arabian Crown will probably go to Sandown and maybe this horse can go to Lingfield or something like that, a race we like to support if we can.”

Chapple-Hyam may have missed out on a double with the narrow defeat of Salamanca, but can take comfort that her Rolica booked her ticket to the Qipco 1000 Guineas when Hollie Doyle got the better of husband Tom Marquand.

A 9-2 chance for the Rossdales Maiden Fillies’ Stakes, the daughter of Lope De Vega was a beaten favourite on debut at Nottingham last autumn, but was a sharper model on her three-year-old bow, showing a good attitude to wear down the Marquand-ridden 9-4 joint-favourite Vicario.

“We got confidence from her galloping companion Mallavelly who was second yesterday in the mile maiden and thankfully she has done the job,” said Chapple-Hyam.

“I think Mallavelly has shown she wants further, so if Mr Harris (Peter, owner) is happy I would like this filly to take her chance – she’s a Guineas filly.

“She was third at Nottingham on a very heavy track, but she’s wintered well and done everything right and I’m just thrilled to have this Lope De Vega.”

Although unsuccessful aboard Vicario, Marquand did find the scoresheet with Woodhay Wonder as Tom Ward’s star filly sprinted to a third straight win in the opening bet365 Handicap.

A real money-spinner for connections last term, she proved could still be a forced to be reckoned with at three as she led from start to finish in the six-furlong event.

“She’s been great and a lot of fun and they’ve done a fantastic job with her to get her ready to go ‘bang’ on her first start of the year,” said Marquand.

“She paid her way just fine last year and after a year like that there is always the question of if they will train on and do the same, but she’s started on the right path and hopefully she will keep on improving.”

The concluding Consign With The National Stud Handicap went the way of Karl Burke’s Poet Master (100-30 favourite) who was registering his fourth win in five starts off a mark of 100.

He could now have bigger assignments in store and his handler said: “He’s got a lot of ability and I think he’s a Group horse in the making. We thought he would be very competitive off 100.

“I would say he will go to the Listed race at Haydock (Pertemps Network Spring Trophy Stakes) in a few weeks’ time. That would be a lovely track for him, a real front-runners’ track and he’s a horse to just let him do his own thing. A nice, level track like Haydock will be perfect for him.”

The front-running First Conquest narrowly denied the promising Lead Artist in a thrilling renewal of the bet365 Wood Ditton Maiden Stakes at Newmarket.

The one-mile contest for unraced three-year-olds has been won by a whole host of high-class performers over the years, including 12 months ago when subsequent Dante third and Derby runner Passenger made a winning debut for Sir Michael Stoute.

Representing the formidable combination of Charlie Appleby and William Buick, First Conquest was unsurprisingly prominent in the market for this year’s renewal at 4-1 and having dictated affairs from the off, had most of his rivals in trouble racing out of the dip.

Lead Artist and Earl Of Rochester, two sons of Dubawi trained by John and Thady Gosden, came from the chasing pack to throw down a challenge with the former emerging as the biggest threat in the Juddmonte silks, but First Conquest dug in to prevail by a nose.

As a gelding this year’s Wood Ditton winner does not have Classic aspirations, with Appleby eyeing a more low-key campaign.

He said: “He’s been schooled up there at home and is from a family we have known. He worked with a nicer horse that ran well earlier in the week as well so we were confident, barring greenness. He hit the lids and was very professional throughout.

“At the moment I hope he will be a nice, progressive handicapper and stepping up in trip in time he can be a proper mile-and-a-quarter type of horse.

“The thing about the Wood Ditton is years ago when you’d win it you would have to throw them in at the deep end, but now with the change of the programme we can give these horses a chance and let them develop in their own manner.”

Charlie Appleby expects to have around 12 horses based in America throughout the summer, with Sheema Classic winner Rebel’s Romance among them.

Appleby, who has enjoyed great success in recent years with his forays to North America, is making a more permanent base for his team by setting up a satellite yard.

Along with Rebel’s Romance, who may go via Hong Kong, the likes of Nations Pride and Master Of The Seas, a recent Grade One winner out there, are also to be campaigned overseas.

“There are seven horses there in Keeneland at present and we’re shipping over two more next week,” said Appleby.

“Legend Of Time goes over there along with Nations Pride and then Measured Time will head over there as well and they’re going over in stages really.

“Basically, they are in Keeneland, we’ll have a few runners (Kentucky) Derby weekend, like Master Of The Seas, and then that team will ship to Saratoga when the rest of the team will join up and we expect at least 12 horses.

“Everyone likes to put a label on these things and I suppose it is a little satellite yard, we’ve put that team together and there’s a nice programme out there for those types of horses.”

He went on: “After Saratoga, we’ll give them a little bit of a break and make the call to see if they are Breeders’ Cup candidates or not. You can’t beat the experience out there if they are going to be Breeders’ Cup horses.

“Rebel’s Romance will go over there later, we’re toying with Hong Kong for him. There’s a small chance he’ll go to Saratoga in August.

“It’s nice to go out there, the team out there are great, they help our team and it is always an advantage knowing the facilities going into these races.”

Native Approach could strengthen Charlie Appleby’s Classic hand by providing the trainer with a fourth victory in the last six runnings of the bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket.

Subsequent Derby hero Masar was the Moulton Paddocks handler’s first winner of this recognised 2000 Guineas trial in 2018, while Master Of The Seas and Native Trail struck Craven gold in successive years in 2021 and 2022 before filling the runner-up spot in the Guineas less than three weeks later.

Ancient Wisdom, who enjoyed a racecourse gallop on the Rowley Mile on Wednesday morning, and the unbeaten three-time Kempton winner Notable Speech appear Appleby’s two chief contenders for the first Classic of the season on May 4.

But Native Approach – narrowly beaten on his Kempton debut in January before going one better the following month – gets an opportunity to stake his claim on Thursday.

Appleby said: “Like a lot of these horses that come off the all-weather, we’re testing them on the turf now.

“I’m not trying to sit on the fence. He looks great at home but he’s got to go and switch it on on the turf now.

“I’m always one who would rather just sit before I get too bolshy over what they have achieved or what they could achieve – like Notable Speech, he’s doing it at a different level at the moment.”

He added: “At the end of the day, from the outside looking in, the only way you can beat City Of Troy is by an unexposed three-year-old, because what he beat last year, I don’t see anything reversing the form myself.”

Native Approach’s task is far from straightforward, with a number of horses with Group One form also in contention for this Group Three contest.

Andre Fabre’s Alcantor was last seen being touched off by David Menuisier’s Sunway in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud in October and crosses the Channel for a race his legendary trainer won with Xaar in 1998.

“He’s done well over the winter, I’m pleased with him and I think running him in the Craven will be good experience for him – and for me,” said Fabre.

“He has no plan to come for the English Guineas, the French is a possible option.”

Eben Shaddad is a major contender for John and Thady Gosden on the strength of his third-place finish in last season’s Dewhurst Stakes behind Aidan O’Brien’s brilliant Guineas favourite City Of Troy.

Meanwhile, O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore team up with Cambridge, who rounded off his juvenile year by finishing second in the Group Three Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown.

“He has a fair bit to find with the form horses Alcantor and Eben Shaddad, but he followed up his Salisbury win on lively ground for me with a decent second in a Group Three on deep ground at Leopardstown, and hopefully there is plenty of improvement in him at three,” Moore told Betfair.

“He will probably want further down the line but this is a good starting point for him.”

The Richard Hannon-trained Haatem and Jane Chapple-Hyam’s unbeaten pair of Sons And Lovers and Champagne Prince complete the field.

Pretty Crystal held off the late surge of Dance Sequence in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket.

Viewed as the first 1000 Guineas trial of the spring, Charlie Appleby’s previously unbeaten Dance Sequence was 10-11 favourite to enhance her Classic claims.

William Buick was briefly short of room on the Godolphin filly and it was just then that Oisin Orr on Pretty Crystal made his decision to set off in pursuit of Brian Meehan’s Kathmandu, who had made a bold bid for home.

As Kathmandu’s stride began to shorten, it was Richard Fahey’s Pretty Crystal who looked the likely winner but Dance Sequence, once in the clear, began to make ground.

The favourite began to roll around upon meeting the rising ground, though, making life difficult for Buick, and that enabled Pretty Crystal (18-1) to come out on top by a neck.

Charlie Appleby’s Ottoman Fleet landed the bet365 Earl Of Sefton Stakes for the second successive year at Newmarket.

The five-year-old was race-fit, having had three runs at Meydan in Dubai, and having won this race 12 months ago, had been racing with credit at a high level in America.

A consistent performer, he falls just short of the top class but in Group Three company, he is a force to be reckoned with.

Having travelled smoothly into contention two furlongs from home for William Buick, he soon took two lengths out of the field and the race was over in a matter of strides.

While he began to get tired late on and Astro King, the Cambridgeshire winner, closed to within a length, the 7-4 favourite was never in any danger.

The disappointment of the race was Roger Varian’s Embesto, who finished a well beaten fifth.

Notable Speech and Devoted Queen both remained unbeaten with impressive displays at Kempton, as Charlie Appleby could have unearthed a couple of Classic contenders.

With the form of his previous course-and-distance victory over Cuban Tiger getting a timely boost at Newcastle recently, Dubawi colt Notable Speech was sent off the 4-7 favourite for his third career appearance in the Virgin Bet Best Odds Daily British EBF Conditions Stakes.

Up against some smart rivals, including Ralph Beckett’s well-regarded Derby entrant Valvano, he was ridden with supreme confidence by William Buick and showed a blistering turn of foot as he sprinted past that challenger in the closing stages.

The Godolphin homebred was cut to as short as 14-1 with bet365 for the 2000 Guineas, with his rider feeling he has now justified a step up in grade.

Buick said: “He’s shown the last twice here he can do that and it was a really good performance and he deserves to go up in grade now.

“Today was a warm race with a few unexposed types and he gave away weight to all of them, so I’m delighted.

“I was very pleased with how he has done physically since the last time I rode him – he has really filled out and I feel like he has grown a bit as well, which is always nice to see from a horse who has had two runs.

“I couldn’t be more happy with him and I tested him a little bit today and he quickened up in a stride.

“I just had to pick a path and he’s such a genuine, easy horse to deal with. He’s got a bright future ahead of him.

“It’s so wet, so it was a nice opportunity for him to come here and run again on this surface. I think he would handle a little bit of cut in the ground, but he’s a very fast horse with a low action, so I think he would want a bit of decent ground.

“He’s opened up a few options there but he’s a speedy miler.”

Buick was also in the plate aboard another hot Moulton Paddocks prospect as Devoted Queen overcame her inexperience to instigate a Godolphin double on the card in the Virgin Bet Daily Extra Places British EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes.

Although far from the finished article, her jockey was encouraged by the promise shown and is hopeful the 1-2 odds-on scorer can become a smart performer as the season progresses

“It was very much a learning day for her and she has come through it,” added Buick, who also tasted Listed success on the card aboard Joseph O’Brien’s Adelaise.

“She’s very inexperienced and she needs to work on a few things. I’m sure she will get there and today was a new experience for her, she was a bit fresh early but got there in the end.

“When she hit the front, she probably had a bit of a look and showed her inexperience, so all in all I think everyone will be really pleased with that.

“It’s a bit early to say (about the 1000 Guineas) and I’m sure we will get her home and those options will be discussed. She has got the talent.

“She is the type of filly, with the way she is built, that will keep improving and progressing and I’m sure there is plenty to look forward to with her.”

A taking winner of a Newmarket maiden previously, Devoted Queen was trimmed to 20-1 from 25s by Coral for the Qipco 1000 Guineas on May 5.

Duty Of Care booked his ticket to Royal Ascot when going one better than last year in the Virgin Bet Queen’s Prize Handicap at Kempton.

Second to Charlie Appleby’s Bandinelli in the valuable staying contest 12 months ago, Saffie Osborne left nothing to chance aboard her father Jamie’s six-year-old this time around as she tracked the strong pace set by James Owen’s Sweet Fantasy.

Entering the straight for the final time, the 6-1 chance had just Sweet Fantasy ahead and as that rival began to cry enough, Duty Of Care was relishing every yard as he bounded on to a comfortable two-and-three-quarter-length success over fellow race regular Sleeping Lion.

Owned by Pat Gallagher, Duty Of Care could next be seen at Ascot in the summer, with Osborne senior targeting the Ascot Stakes at the royal meeting for the son of Kingman.

The trainer said: “He just needs a true test and the last couple of runs we haven’t had that. We didn’t take any chances today and we stuck him on the front end, and if the pace was going to slacken, we were there, so it stayed true.

“Thankfully, we had a good lead and we didn’t need to do it ourselves and he’s a different horse once it becomes a two-mile race where you need two-mile stamina.

“Pat has been very patient and I have been telling him for a long time that this horse is alright and he keeps getting beaten.

“The Ascot Stakes over two-and-a-half (will be the plan). He will be fine on the turf and he probably won’t run again until then. That’s my plan and I will have to discuss it with the owner, but I think that would be a very obvious call for him now.”

Rebel’s Romance caused a surprise in the Dubai Sheema Classic, in which dual Derby winner Auguste Rodin finished last.

While Charlie Appleby’s six-year-old did win the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2022, he was well beaten in the corresponding race 12 months ago and looked to be up against it in a field stacked with quality.

Along with Auguste Rodin, who is developing an all-or-nothing reputation, there was Emily Upjohn, Spirit Dancer and Japanese challengers Liberty Island and Stars On Earth.

The pace was pedestrian, set by Aidan O’Brien’s Point Lonsdale, but only William Buick on the eventual winner and Liberty Island were keen to stay close to it.

With half a mile to run, that trio had opened up a sizeable gap on the remainder of the field and when Buick kicked on to take up the running well over a furlong out, the writing was on the wall.

A strong stayer at the trip, Rebel’s Romance, who won the UAE Derby back in 2021, galloped all the way to the line, with Shahryar, Liberty Island and Justin Palace, all from Japan, taking minor honours. Emily Upjohn fared best of the rest just behind but Auguste Rodin offered nothing.

Appleby said: “He’d won a Breeders’ Cup Turf and four Group Ones, yet he was 20-1, which showed just how deep a race it was.

“William told me he had a plan but I told him not to tell me, then I couldn’t roast him if it went wrong!

“We were confident the right thing to do was go forward and heading down the back, I felt confident because I knew the fractions weren’t strong.

“William knows this track so well and did everything right.

“To have a winner tonight, on what has been a really international night, to get one on the board for Godolphin and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed is very pleasing.”

The Newmarket handler added: “It was our last throw of the darts, but we were confident he was in as good a place as we could get him. He went to Kempton and then had a great ride in Qatar from William.

“He has travelled a lot but we were confident he was at his best. Plan A was to go forward to give the horse the best chance to run his best race.

“This whole night is a huge space in the racing calendar that everyone will aim for. You’ve got to look after these horses and make sure you don’t give them one race too many.

“We toyed with the Champions & Chater Cup in Hong Kong next, but we will enjoy today and he deserves a bit of a rest.”

Buick commented: “He showed in Qatar that he can still perform from the front or close to it. He has a big stride and we decided to get across and somewhere near the action. We were given an easy lead off easy fractions. I was surprised he was in his comfort zone, going easily.”

Karl Burke’s Cuban Tiger added to the trainer’s smart crop of three-year-olds when just getting the better of Sayedaty Sadaty in the BetMGM Burradon Stakes at Newcastle.

Owned by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, who has moved the majority of his string to Burke’s Leyburn stables, the Havana Grey colt looked to have plenty to do on the official figures with a rating of just 87.

However, he had only had two runs, winning on his debut and just losing out to Charlie Appleby’s Notable Speech last time out – and he had clearly improved for that experience.

Appleby’s unbeaten Silent Age looked a major contender but he did his chances no favours by becoming upset in the stalls and it was Oisin Murphy on Sayedaty Sadaty who tried to dictate.

Despite at one stage looking like being swallowed up, Sayedaty Sadaty gamely stuck to his task but while the favourite Orne and Silent Age dropped away, it was Clifford Lee and Cuban Tiger who challenged last and got the verdict by a neck.

Burke already has a smart three-year-old cold in Night Raider, while his Fallen Angel is strongly fancied for the 1000 Guineas.

“We were hoping he’d run really well, but you never know what you’re taking on with two-year-olds coming into their three-year-old career,” said Burke.

“The Gosden horse (Orne) looked pretty strong and the Godolphin horse (Silent Age) fluffed the start, but I knew we had the horse that was better than his rating, so I wasn’t worried about handicaps and it was just a question of how good he was.

“He loves that surface and he’s a good moving horse, I don’t think he’d want too softer ground. We’ll discuss with Sheikh Mohammed Obaid where we go next.

“He’s a lovely horse who is still green. I don’t think he needs to go further than a mile at the moment.

“We’ve got a big team of three-year-olds and some real nice stuff there, so fingers crossed they can all stay in one piece.”

On Night Raider, he added: “He came out of Southwell really well and he’s a lovely horse. You’d have to say he’s got more gears than this fella, that’s for sure.

“He’s a very good horse, whatever he does. It’s a massive step up from two Southwell novices to a 2000 Guineas, but at the moment he deserves to be in it and his future is ahead of him beyond the Guineas.

“That (racecourse gallop at the Craven meeting) is Plan A and I’ve got to discuss it with Steve (Parkin, owner). Steve is very keen not to have a run and just go for the gallop, but when Danny (Tudhope) jumped off him at Southwell, he felt he was still very green.

“For me, another race would do him the world of good, but at the moment it’s a racecourse gallop, with probably an entry in the seven-furlong conditions race and we’ll just see what that looks like.”

Charlie Appleby is likely to point last season’s Doncaster Futurity winner Ancient Wisdom at the Qipco 2000 Guineas as a stepping stone to a crack at the Betfred Derby.

The Moulton Paddocks handler feels the Newmarket Classic – for which the Aidan O’Brien-trained City Of Troy is the red-hot favourite – is more attractive than the longer Dante Stakes at York to give the son of Dubawi a trial for Epsom in early June.

He explained: “Ancient Wisdom won the Futurity on very soft ground and has been held in high regard from very early in his career.

“After getting beaten at Ascot he progressed physically, as you would expect from a Dubawi.”

Appleby is concerned that the Dante is closer to Epsom than ideal and added: “It’s possible there will be slow ground for the Guineas, and we will take a look at that with the view that a mile and a half will prove his forte.

“If I waited for York and the ground was soft, there’s not much time left until Derby to put things right should they go wrong, and it would be a more ambitious route to take.”

Appleby also had news on his unbeaten Classic-bound filly Dance Sequence.

He said: “Dance Sequence has done well. William (Buick) sat on her the other day and was delighted. We will take her to the Nell Gwyn and then the English Guineas.”

Cinderella’s Dream enhanced her Classic claims in overcoming huge adversity to land the Jumeirah 1000 Guineas at Meydan.

Following low-key wins at Lingfield and Thirsk, the daughter of Shamardal made an impressive Dubai debut in last month’s Jumeirah Fillies Classic – a race won last year by Saeed bin Suroor’s Mawj, who not only followed up in the Jumeirah Guineas but also went on to land the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Cinderella’s Dream was extremely short odds to maintain her unbeaten record on ‘Super Saturday’, but disaster almost struck at the halfway stage as William Buick’s saddle slipped forward, prompting the dual champion jockey to kick his feet out of the irons for the remainder of the race.

Buick could do little more than sit and suffer from the home turn, but it did not prevent Charlie Appleby’s charge from going through the gears and she pulled five and a half lengths clear of the Amy Murphy-trained Geologist with the minimum of fuss.

Paddy Power cut Cinderella’s Dream to 12-1 from 16-1 for the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 5, and Buick had nothing but praise for the three-year-old following her latest triumph.

“She took a hold early and she’s only quite slight, so when I took a pull my saddle slightly went up in front of me, and then when the pace slackened her going into the turn and I steadied her off heels, it went up again,” he told the Dubai Racing Club.

“I’m not sure what you could see on the TV, but I was getting a bit unbalanced up her neck, so the safest thing to do was to kick my feet out (of the stirrups) and she’s still managed to win.

“She was very professional, it was a bit of a rodeo show really but she got the job done.

“She’s really progressing and she’s won as she liked with no help at all. I think she’s done really well and with each start she keeps doing things better, so you’d be very happy with that.”

Annaf could be in line for more Middle Eastern riches after his lucrative success in the Saudi National Bank 1351 Turf Sprint.

The five-year-old had a busy and profitable season last year, consistently turning up in top sprints and holding his own when often starting at outsider’s odds.

He was fourth when beaten two and three-quarter lengths at 50-1 in the Duke of York Stakes, after which he was defeated by the same margin at the same price when third in the Group One King’s Stand at Royal Ascot.

Even when taking up the lower places in the Hackwood, the Hopeful Stakes and the Sprint Cup, he was never beaten more than three and a half lengths when stepping up to six furlongs.

At Doncaster, he moved back half a furlong in the Portland and under top weight he claimed his first win of the turf season, a success he then followed up when landing the Group Three Bengough Stakes at Ascot in October.

He made his seasonal debut at Lingfield at the start of February, placing second in the Listed Kachy Stakes behind Clive Cox’s Diligent Harry – who subsequently landed the Hever Sprint Stakes at Southwell on Saturday afternoon.

The Saudi Turf Sprint was Annaf’s next destination, edging up to just shy of seven furlongs in a deep race that included the reigning champion Bathrat Leon from Japan, Kieran Cotter’s speedy filly Matilda Picotte and Tim Easterby’s British Champions Sprint Stakes winner Art Power.

Under a canny ride from Rossa Ryan having started in stall 12, they found space on the inside rail and were gaining ground constantly.

As others faded Annaf began to advance and ultimately crossed the line three-quarters of a length ahead of Japan’s La La Christine to take home nearly £1million in prize-money.

Appleby said: “He’s all good, he’s come out of the race fine.

“He did it really well, we were quite surprised at the price of him to be honest.

“He ran really well in the Kachy Stakes, we gave him a prep run in that and he went very well.

“The winner of that (Diligent Harry) came out and won the Listed race at Southwell, so the form has really stacked up.

“He’s always run well in good quality races and he’s always been thereabouts.”

A visit to Japan was mentioned in the immediate aftermath of the Saudi success, but connections have decided that the meeting comes too soon and he will instead return to the Middle East for the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night.

“He’ll more than likely go out to Dubai on World Cup night, he was invited to Japan, but we’ve decided not to go there as the race might come too soon for him and there’s a lot of travelling as well,” Appleby said.

“He’ll come home and then probably about a week before the race, he’ll fly out to Dubai.

“Then I imagine then it’ll be Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood, all the big meetings.”

Appleby’s other sprint star is the rapid Big Evs, winner of the Windsor Castle, Molecomb, Flying Childers and then the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint last year.

The colt has returned to training after his winter break and is progressing well as connections ponder where to begin his three-year-old campaign.

“He’s good, he’s wintered really well and he’s in training,” Appleby said.

“We’ve not really made our plans yet with him, but he’s on the go so he’ll run early season, we just don’t know where yet.”

Cinderella’s Dream emerged as a potential Qipco 1000 Guineas contender after maintaining her unbeaten record with a thoroughly impressive victory in the Jumeirah Fillies Classic at Meydan.

One of four winners on the card for trainer Charlie Appleby and the first leg of a treble for jockey William Buick, the the Shamardal filly had won her first two starts at a fairly low-key level at Lingfield and Thirsk in September.

However, she looks more than ready to hold her own in better company judged on a dominant comeback victory in a race won 12 months ago by Saeed bin Suroor’s subsequent Guineas heroine Mawj.

“She was there for me the whole way and is still learning on the job, having only had two previous runs before this evening,” said Buick.

“But once I put her in between horses, it was just about trying to follow the right ones and she was there instantly. It was a very nice performance from a filly who I think is progressing.

“Mawj won this race last and she ended up winning the next round of this series and then won the 1000 Guineas, so she’s in good company.

“I think she’s going to progress, so I wouldn’t want to rule anything out.”

Appleby and Buick also successfully combined in the Listed Dubai Sprint with Mischief Magic.

The Exceed And Excel gelding was a winner at the 2022 Breeders’ Cup meeting but endured a largely disappointing three-year-old campaign last season and Buick is hoping he might be able to rediscover his best form following this clear-cut success.

He added: “I knew I had plenty of horse and I knew the gap would eventually be there for him. When you look through his form as a two-year-old, that’s how he was always ridden and don’t forget he’s a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner, so the quality is there.

“Let’s hope he’s on the way to reaching those heights again. We all know how tough it can be for a three-year-old sprinter, so hopefully he’s strengthened up and he’s more the finished article.”

Appleby made it a treble in the Dubai Millennium Stakes, but it was his apparent second string Warren Point who upset his better fancied stablemate New London to secure Group Three honours.

The winner was still nearer last than first approaching the final furlong, but fairly flew home under an ice-cool Mickael Barzalona to deny Jamie Osborne’s Sean by a short head.

Osborne also saddled the third-placed Solid Stone, with 4-6 favourite New London only fourth.

Barzalona said: “The horse did very well as he was a bit strong at the beginning. I had the chance to come wide, but I thought it was a bit too early to come around the horses, so I tried to go on the inside and I was stuck. He was able to pick up to win it and he’s a talented horse.”

Winner number four for Appleby and three for Buick was provided by Legend Of Time, who readily followed up his course win of four weeks ago and justified cramped odds in the Jumeirah Guineas.

“He’s a horse who has only improved, he won the trial for this race very well over seven furlongs and we always thought he was going to improve for stepping up to a mile tonight,” said the jockey.

“I think he’s progressing the whole time and hopefully he’s a nice horse in the making. His ability enables him to win over shorter distances, but I think we’ll see the best of him over 10 furlongs.

Asked whether Legend Of Time could develop into a Derby contender, Buick added: “It’s hard to stand here in early February and say that, but we hope so. That’s what these horses are here to do, so let’s hope he can make those necessary steps to put himself in that picture.”

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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