Feature Story

Buick Measured Time and distance perfectly to lead Godolphin 1-2 in Manhattan

Buick Measured Time and distance perfectly to lead Godolphin 1-2 in Manhattan Jun 9, 2024

By Duane Fonseca - 

Godolphin and Charlie Appleby claimed an exacta in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes at Saratoga after Dubai Racing Carnival programme double winner Measured Time marked his Stateside debut with a two-length victory ahead of teammate and stable companion Nations Pride in one of the main turf events on the Belmont Stakes undercard on Saturday.

A half-brother to G1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic and Champions and Chater Cup (G1) winner Rebel’s Romance, Measured Time was running for the first time since finishing fourth in the Dubai Turf on Dubai World Cup Day, a run that followed earlier back-to-back wins in the Al Rashidiya (G2) and the G1 Jebel Hatta.

Going 1900m at Saratoga was never going to be a problem for the Frankel colt, who leapt widest of the eight that went to post. However, after breaking fractionally slower, William Buick was forced him to expend a bit of energy to seize the lead making the first turn. Strong Quality took over and was marginally ahead as the field hit the far straight, but Measured Time remained very much in it, keen as ever under Buick, who gave him only as much rein as was necessary. A minor shake-up with a little under half to run saw Measured Time hit the front approaching the 600m marker and although he drifted a bit early in the straight, Buick managed to wrap up the race in style with his mount finding more all the way to the finish as Nations Pride (Frankie Dettori) managed to hold on to second by a neck ahead of dead-heating third-placed pair of Ohana Honor and Far Bridge, who the judges could not separate.

A thrilled Appleby said: “This was our most confident race of the meet this weekend.

“We've earmarked this for some time thinking that the American tracks would suit him. Obviously, we saw what he did in Dubai. That kind of track, nice level tracks, suit him. He's a big striding horse. It's a decision we made and then it was let him get on with it today and try and make our own run rather than get him in a tangle. You try and organise a horse like him and he finds it hard. He's happy going on.”

Hinting that the Breeders’ Cup Turf could be a possible target for Measured Time later in the year, Appleby added: “We were confident stepping up to the 10 (furlongs) today . We feel he could stretch out to a mile-and-a-half. We'll take the Breeders' Cup [Turf] into consideration. We're just delighted to get one across the line today.”

Buick felt comfortable throughout, having seen things go according to plan.

He said: “It was always the plan to go forward, sit forward. He's a horse you never feel like you are going quick enough, so I was happy where I was.

“He was a bit competitive early on, but I always felt he was in a nice rhythm, and he's a real powerful galloper, as you saw there. He's still got a bit to learn, like he ran out on the home bend, and it doesn't feel like he's a finished article just yet, but he sure has the raw talent.”