Exciting 4yo Dubawi colt Ghaiyyath ran his opponents ragged in the 2000m Group 2 Prix d’Harcourt, the feature of the opening ParisLongchamp fixture of 2019 on Sunday, and is likely to be aimed at the French course’s top race, the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. On his seasonal debut, the progressive Charlie Appleby-trained performer enjoyed his fourth successive victory when making all the running under William Buick. He strolled home after going well clear in the straight before being heavily eased in the closing stages to beat another Godolphin runner, Soleil Marin, saddled by Andre Fabre and ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot, the only rival able to try and challenge, by a length and a half. The winning margin could have been so much greater.
This was only Ghaiyyath’s fifth start and Charlie Appleby is very keen about future prospects. He said: “I am delighted with that performance; he is a horse with a future. He is another Dubawi who has improved from three to four. “He had Group Three success as a 2yo and as a 3yo, and now has won a Group Two. There is an exciting year ahead for him. “We have always been excited by this horse and he was a Derby prospect last year before having a setback. He has wintered well in Dubai. “Ghaiyyath is a very strong galloper. If something could go faster than him, then we would let them go on, but nothing can give him a lead because he is such a strong traveller.
“Softer conditions will suit him better and we will probably work backwards from the Arc if HH Sheikh Mohammed would like to do that.” The Group 1 Prix Ganay at Longchamp is the possible next target at the end of this month. Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin was pleased with Soleil Marin and added: “He ran really well and the jockey said the horse is in the form of his life. “We were slightly worried about the ground, but he performed very well and was beaten by a better horse on the day.”