Feature Story



By Angus McNae - 

Charlie Appleby won every race on the Turf on Festive Friday and he again dominated proceedings this week with four more winners. There were five races on the turf and four on the dirt with the feature race being the Group 3 Dubai Millenium Stakes. This week, the data is most striking with regards the turf races where fast finishes were the order of the day and the most taking performance on the card came in the Jumeirah Fillies Classic.

Jumeirah Fillies Classic: Cinderella’s Dream This filly was making her Meydan debut after winning twice in the UK. Both of those wins came in modest contests that were steadily run and clearly this was a much bigger task for her on her three-year-old debut. She was ridden with a great deal of confidence by William Buick who was content to sit off the pace and utilize her sharp turn of foot. A free going sort, the waiting tactics were probably employed to encourage her to settle. Cinderella’s Dream produced the fastest final two furlongs on the card clocking 22.04s and, given that the turf races this week all produced fast finishes, to be the quickest on just her third career start was impressive. She generated a Finishing Speed Percentage (FSP) of 107.95% meaning that her final two furlongs were 7.95% quicker than the previous five. That she was able to quicken so well from the back of the field in a race that wasn’t run at a strong gallop is testament to her ability. Credit must also go to the runner-up Beautiful Love who was given a similar ride to the winner but could not match her sharp change of gear.

Dubai Sprint: Mischief Magic This classy sprinter had been fourth to Ponntos in the 1000m Dubai Dash on Festive Friday where he seemed to find the trip too sharp for him. The step up to 1200m here was much more to his liking. This was an evenly run sprint with no excuses for any horse on account of pace or position. Mischief Magic recorded an FSP of 102.44% which tells us he did not quicken quite as sharply as it looked like he did. A good example of the data painting a slightly different picture to the one created by the visuals. His final two furlongs were recorded as 22.24s which was a slower split than recorded by Cinderella’s dream, Warren Point and Royal Dubai. Mischief Magic is clearly not a horse with a blinding turn of foot, but he is a sprinter who likes to close down pacesetters off a decent gallop. That’s exactly what he did here and future success will depend on him encountering strongly-run races. If this race had been more strongly run he would have been even more impressive than he was. A good run in the Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup night should not be discounted.

Jumeirah Guineas: Legend Of Time On his Meydan debut in the Guineas Trial over a furlong shorter, Legend Of Time impressed with the speed he displayed. That race was steadily run and he flew home through the final quarter mile recording a sectional of 22.1s. This race provided a completely different test for him. It was over a furlong further and was run at a completely different tempo. Nonetheless, Legend Of Time was just as impressive and is clearly a very useful three-year-old. He was not able to flash a 22.1s quarter mile here due to the early gallop being stronger and more energy sapping. He came home in even fractions, recording 24.15s to win easily. This was less a test of raw speed, but more one of resilience where the ability to sustain a gallop was essential. When he won the Guineas Trial he recorded an FSP of 107.49% and at the time that was one of the fastest finishes of the season. On this occasion he recorded an FSP of 99.49% meaning that he completed the final two furlongs 0.51% slower than he ran the rest of the race. The contrast with the Trial could not be more stark and highlights this horse’s versatility and adaptability. He clearly does not require a particular set of circumstances to produce his best.

Dubai Millenium Stakes: Warren Point Charlie Appleby won this with his lesser fancied runner, Warren Point, whose late surge edged him ahead right on the line. His final quarter mile achieved while having to be switched to get a run was an impressive 22.27s. Only Cinderella’s Dream was able to finish faster on the day albeit over 1400m compared to the 2000m trip here. The gallop was dictated by Solid Stone and the pace was a steady one allowing the race to turn into something of a sprint off the home turn. This race was a case of those who can sprint best prevail wherever they were positioned in the early part of the race. Solid Stone had the run of the race and committed first but, both Warren Point and Sean, who finished second, sprinted home from the back of the field. The winner recording an FSP of 108.84%, his final quarter mile being 8.84% quicker than he ran the rest of the race.