By Duane Fonseca
Charlie Appleby and Salem bin Ghadayer were among the big winners Thursday night at Meydan with the former winning the Group 2 Balanchine on turf with Magic Lily and the latter claiming the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes on dirt with Capezzano.
Appleby and William Buick opened their accounts with Ya Hayati in the 1900m Meydan Trophy, a conditions event on turf, where the 3yo Dubawi colt was ridden to the front 400m out and he built upon those instructions to win by a length from Caroline Malmborg’s Fredrik Janetzky ridden Timo Nurmos, who edged fellow Scandinavian Grey Flash, trained by Bent Olsen and ridden by Carlos Lopez, by a neck.
A little over an hour later, the pair struck again in the Group 2 Balanchine over 1800m of turf with Magic Lily, who once again beat Hiroo Shimizu’s Nisreen, this time by a length and a quarter. In third place, a neck behind was Simon Crisford’s Maamora.
Group 2 Cape Verdi winner on 16 January, Magic Lily was favourite to win and she travelled well with Buick letting her fly to the front 300m out. Nisreen chased hard, but could only cut the deficit in the end.
Bin Ghadayer claimed a 1-3 in the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes, where Capezzano did all the running to win under Mickael Barzalona. Ridden to the front after the gates flew open, Capezzano instantly opened up a sizeable lead and held on comfortably to fly home seven lengths ahead of Satish Seemar’s Tadhg O’Shea ridden Secret Ambition, with Bin Ghadayer’s other charge Matterhorn travelling smoothly under Royston Ffrench to take third a further three fourths of a length behind.
Seemar enjoyed a 1-3 in the 1200m handicap on dirt Bochart going wire to wire under Richard Mullen to win by seven and a half lengths ahead of Doug O’Neill’s Buick ridden Prodigal Son, with stablemate Lavaspin running in third under Tadhg O’Shea.
Buick had another runners up placing in the 1000m turf sprint where when riding O’Neill’s Torosay, he came home a half length behind Doug Watson’s Waady, who ran exceptionally well under Jim Crowley. In third place, a length behind, was Michael Appleby’s Caspian Prince, the ride of Alistair Rawlinson.
Omani conditioner Sulaiman Al Ghunaimi would have pinched himself Thursday night after he got first time lucky in the Group 2 Mazrat Al Ruwayah, one of the top Purebred Arabian contests on the Carnival trail.
Rasi delivered the prestigious mile affair with a tremendous turn foot as he belied his nine years under a crafty Harry Bentley to win by two and three fourths of a length from Eric lemartinel’s RB Lam Tara the ride of Fabrice Veron. Finishing third, a neck behind, was Wadeeaa, the charge of Ana Mendez, who had Szczepan Mazur in the saddle.
Bentley kept Rasi mid-division for most of it but with 700m left to run, the Omani raider started to pick up the pace and was swung to the centre in the home stretch where he took up the running from Wadeeaa to win comfortably.
Rasi’s rider Bentley said: “I know him well and we wanted to utilise the draw (No.1) well and we won. The draw helped me and it was comfortable.”
The final race of the night was a turf handicap over 2410m, which was won by Appleby’s Eynhallow ridden by Barzalona. In second place was Koeman, while Stylehunter placed third.