THE PROMISING Path Of Thunder enjoyed a perfect warm-up for this year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival with a decisive win in the Zabeel Trophy at Meydan last Friday for Charlie Appleby. The 5yo gelded son of Night Of Thunder formed part of a strong Godolphin challenge in the 1600m turf contest, with Newmarket Group Three winners One Ruler and La Barrosa also lining up for Appleby alongside the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Light And Dark.

After breaking smartly under Richard Mullen, Path Of Thunder made the early running before being passed by Nordic Lights and La Barrosa after the first 400m. La Barrosa hit the front 300m out but was headed inside the final 200m by Path Of Thunder, who galloped home strongly to beat Moqtarreb by more than two lengths.

La Barrosa finished third, with One Ruler coming home sixth after meeting trouble in running. Charlie Appleby said: “Path Of Thunder came out here as a hard horse to place, having risen to his new handicap mark in the UK, and I left Richard Mullen with an open book tonight.

“It was a slightly strange race to watch for the first couple of furlongs with three different leaders. Richard hit the lids quick before La Barrosa took over and then Nordic Lights went on. “Path Of Thunder enjoyed a nice tow into the race and travelled very well before picking up and seeing out the trip.

We have questioned his willingness in the past; we put the headgear on him when he won at Newmarket but I wasn’t sure if they would do the same job tonight. “One Ruler and La Barrosa had both enjoyed a nice break since being gelded but we have also missed a good part of this week at Marmoom Stables because we had a bit more rain than in town.

We haven’t been able to get on to our main track for the last five days, so they missed a bit of work and will come forward for this. “I will probably drop La Barrosa back in trip as he hit the lids today and has plenty of boot, while One Ruler looks to have had an unlucky trip round.”

Appleby recorded a turf double on the card with improving 4yo Silent Film, who came out on top in a thrilling finish to a 1400m handicap. Covered up, the 4yo gelded son of New Approach stayed on well in the straight to hit the front for William Buick entering the final 100m.

Magical Land flew home to join Silent Film on the line, with the Godolphin runner holding on by a nose. Appleby said: “Silent Film is a handy little horse, who did well to win tonight. He is lightly framed but should come forward a bit for that run.

I’m sure we will have a crack at one of the Listed handicaps at the carnival.” William Buick added: “I hoped that I had won. The second horse came quick and Silent Film probably just idled a bit in front on his first run for a while. “The runner-up is a smart horse in his own right and gives a good substance to the form. All in all, it was a pleasing run.”