Improving stayer Ispolini gained a first Pattern success when scoring impressively in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy, the official feature at Meydan’s ninth fixture of the Dubai World Cup Carnival. Godolphin recorded a 1-2-3 with sons of Dubawi in the 2810m turf contest, the key trial for the 3200m Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup on the Dubai World Cup card, with Red Galileo taking second ahead of Bin Battuta. A 4yo, Ispolini, stepping up in class after taking a turf handicap over the same course and distance for Charlie Appleby in January, was held up in sixth by Mickael Barzalona. Early leader, Red Galileo, continued to hold the advantage into the straight but Ispolini cruised up to lead with over 300m to race before quickening clear to win by ten and a half lengths.
Bin Battuta came home third, a further 11 and a half lengths in arrears.Charlie Appleby said: “Ispolini has a nice stayer’s pedigree and was mixing it with Classic types in the spring of his 3yo season. He has thrived since coming out to Dubai.“We knew that stepping up in trip was going to open up doors for him and we felt he was going the right way based on his first couple of runs out here. “His homework had been good going into this evening and we thought that he was going to be competitive. “We had planned for him to go to Australia as well, but he will stay here now for the Dubai Gold Cup.” Mickael Barzalona added: “Ispolini won well last time when he showed a good turn of foot, and I was told to make him settle during the first part of the race tonight.
“He travelled strongly, did it very well and was very impressive indeed. “I could have waited, but Ispolini was going so much better than the others, so I took him out and he just lengthened away.” On The Warpath capitalised on a return to 1400m when gaining victory over Mubtasim to provide Appleby a 1-2 in a turf handicap. Ridden by William Buick, 4yo On The Warpath was smartly into his stride and raced in a close fourth on the outside as Victory Wave set a strong pace at the head of the 14 runners with Mubtasim and James Doyle settling in third on the inside rail. On The Warpath, twice placed in turf handicaps over 1600m at Meydan earlier in the carnival, was niggled along turning for home and quickened well to hold every chance along with Mubtasim and Wasim as the trio went clear of Victory Wave approaching the final furlong.
Mubtasim went to the front only for On The Warpath to come through and assert in the closing stages for a length victory, with the same margin back to Wasim. Appleby, celebrating a double on the night of this latest Dubai World Cup Carnival programme, commented: “We have dropped On The Warpath back to 7f tonight, but it was a bit surprising to see him come under the pump sooner than I expected. “To be fair to the horse, he has toughed it out and hit the line strongly. “I thought that this trip was going to suit as it looked like he never saw it out over a mile. He was up on the lead on both his starts over a mile before being nabbed late on. “We knew that there would be pace in the race tonight with Mubtasim running.
William was always going to have On The Warpath in the box seat and give him something to aim at. “Mubtasim has produced two solid runs at Meydan now and I liked his run style tonight; they have gone a good gallop, but he has settled into it well and found when he needed to. He is a horse who we can hopefully have a bit of fun with over the summer. “Both horses will start their quarantine tomorrow and then head back to the UK in a month’s time.” William Buick reported: “On The Warpath has run well on all three of his carnival starts. “He travelled very well over a mile twice, when he possibly didn’t quite get home, and the drop back in trip was the key tonight. “He fought really well. They went a good gallop and On The Warpath was always doing enough.
I didn’t mind it when he came off the bridle slightly as he was always keeping tabs on the leaders. I was always pretty happy. “On The Warpath is most effective over 7f and both he and Mubtasim are nice horses who have run well on all of their starts out here.” The 5yo Mountain Hunter continued his rich vein of form at this year’s carnival when leading home a Godolphin clean sweep in the concluding 2000m turf handicap and provided a third Godolphin victory on the evening. The Saeed bin Suroor-trained son of Lonhro, successful in a similar contest over 400m further in February, tacked over from stall 13 under Christophe Soumillon to settle in fourth of the 14 runners with fellow Godolphin runners Zorion and Desert Fire setting the pace.
Zorion found more under pressure when challenged by Desert Fire with 300m to race, but the duo were collared well inside the final 200m by Mountain Hunter, who ran on strongly after being switched out. Mountain Hunter was eased near the line to come home three quarters of a length ahead of Zorion, with the same margin back to Desert Fire in third. Saeed bin Suroor commented: “Mountain Hunter won well here two weeks ago and travelled very nicely in behind tonight. He showed a good turn of foot and has improved physically this year. “He lost his condition after running out here last year so we had to give him two or three months to recover, but he has handled each race really well this season. “It depends on the pace and how fast they go, but I think that a mile and a quarter is his best trip and he is a tough horse.
We will have to look for better races for him.” Christophe Soumillon added: “Mountain Hunter jumped out of the gate quite fast last time and I only had to pass a few horses, but I was lucky to get cover in fourth position tonight from my wide draw, especially with the headwind down the back straight. “He has a bit of speed, but I like him over a mile and a half as well. I think Saeed has a better horse for the Dubai Turf so if he is to run on Dubai World Cup night it will probably be the Dubai Sheema Classic. “Mountain Hunter showed us some class tonight. We know that some very good horses from overseas will be coming over for the Dubai Sheema Classic, but he is a horse who can get freshened up now and could run a great race. “He has won two in a row under big weights and, when horses get so competitive at the carnival, you can take your chance in a big race.”