'Best We Have In The UAE': Algiers Inspires Dubai World Cup Dreams After Dominating Al Maktoum Challenge - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

‘Best We Have In The UAE’: Algiers Inspires Dubai World Cup Dreams After Dominating Al Maktoum Challenge

Awesome Algiers stakes Dubai World Cup claim

There were Dubai World Cup whispers after Algiers (Shamardal) routed the field in G2 Maktoum Challenge Round 1 last month and they turned to shouts after the gelding was every bit as impressive in Round 2 (Presented by Emaar).

Facing a classy field, including World Cup sixth Remorse and G1 winners Salute The Soldier, First Constitution and Atletico El Culano, Algiers (pictured) was forced to sit wide under James Doyle off a fast early pace and the rider employed patient tactics. That was until the home turn, when he said 'go!' and the response was immediate, Algiers charging away from the field and winning, eased down, by six lengths from Bendoog, with Remorse third.

“It was fantastic, he switched leads at the right time in the race and did what he had to do,” said winning joint-trainer Simon Crisford after his horse became the fifth to win the first two legs of the Maktoum Challenge. “Obviously we'll talk to his owner, Hamdan Sultan [Alsabousi], and make a plan now, but on the back of that effort we'll have to strongly push for the Dubai World Cup.”

Doyle, enjoying his sixth winner of a fine Carnival, was impressed by how the gelding saw out the 1900metres (1 3/16 miles).

“It's the furthest he's run on dirt,” he said. “I didn't want to ride him aggressively, but he jumped so well I could have led. I chose to take him back and then one went up my inside and pushed me wide, so then he over-raced throughout. He did well to achieve what he has without ever being in a rhythm.

“He's the best we have in the UAE and this opens up options now, whether it be here or Saudi.”

Doyle also took the night's other feature, the Group 2 Singspiel Stakes (Presented by Emaar). It produced the finish of the night with Valiant Prince needing every step of the 1800metres to deny the game Alfareeq.

Charlie Appleby's gelding took his Meydan Racecourse record to four from four with this last-ditch win, which saw him join Alfareeq right on the line and win by a short-head. It was a first Singspiel Stakes win for Appleby, but a second for Doyle who was also successful on True Story back in 2015.

“I thought I was going to win nicely, but Alfareeq is tough and he battled back,” said the jockey. “He loves it here, he's growing up all the time and his racing manners today were perfect, he relaxed really well in the race. He showed all the attributes of a horse going in the right direction.”

The G1 Jebel Hatta on Super Saturday, March 4th, is next for Valiant Prince, ahead of the Group 1 Dubai Turf on Dubai World Cup day.

Another one eyeing March 25th is Tuz, who gave trainer Bhupat Seemar a win in the G3 Al Shindagha Sprint despite his top sprinter Switzerland staying at home.

The six-year-old, whose career began in Russia, was only sixth to that stablemate in the G3 Dubawi Stakes last time but blasted off in front here under Jose Da Silva, soon making it one way traffic and beating UAE newcomer Isolate by three lengths, with Freedom Fighter third.

“He's got speed to burn. I told Jose to use the draw [1] to his advantage and that is the only way to do it with him,” said Seemar. “He's a really nice horse. It might be Super Saturday and the Golden Shaheen, but we'll have to see where Switzerland goes.”

Fillies dancing in the Moonlight

There was more Godolphin success in the night's big fillies' race, the 1600metre G2 Cape Verdi (Presented by Emaar), which went to Appleby for the fourth time in five years. His With The Moonlight had a busy summer in America, winning the G3 Saratoga Oaks, and was much too good for her 11 rivals here, easily passing the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained White Moonlight inside the final furlong and winning by three-quarters of a length under William Buick. The Spanish-trained Samedi Rien was third, ahead of last year's runner up Ascot Brass.

“She's a really good filly and it was a nice place to start her back,” said Buick. “She was taking on some race-fit fillies here and she'll come on a good bit from that experience.”

It was a double for Appleby who earlier took the 2410metre Vazirabad Handicap (Presented by Emaar) with First Ruler who was the first leg of Doyle's treble. The four-year-old was third on the opening night of the Carnival but improved for that run this time. Travelling well throughout, he came with a smooth run down the centre of the track and won by a length from Get Shirty, despite hanging towards the inside rail.

“I was a bit worried about the draw [11] beforehand, but there was a contested lead early, which meant we were able to slide into quite a nice position,” said Doyle. “We had a dream run round after that although I would have preferred the ones in front to have taken me further, as he can lug a bit.”

Earlier denied on Alfareeq, jockey Dane O'Neill gained recompense in the last which went to Moqtarreb, a first Carnival winner in his first season training for Emirati handler Ali Al Badwawi.

Seventh, beaten three lengths, on his previous start here three weeks ago, the seven-year-old was strongest at the line after several had been in contention in the last 200metres, eventually beating UK raider Ouzo by three-quarters of a length, with Zainhom third.

At the start of the card, Panamanian rider Oscar Chavez celebrated his first UAE Group 1 in style with a decisive victory in the opening Maktoum Challenge Round 2 for Purebred Arabians. Riding Hayyan for trainer Majed Al Jahoori, the rider made a big move down the back straight to take the lead from Hiab Al Zaman and then never looked back, crossing the line well clear of last year's winner Rajeh in second.

The Carnival continues next Friday, February 10th, when the G3 UAE 2000 Guineas and G2 Blue Point Sprint is among the highlights.

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