Godolphin comes up trumps on Dubai World Cup night
Trainer Charlie Appleby hadn't tasted success in Dubai prior to Saturday's Dubai World Cup meeting but came away with two Group 1 victories for Godolphin
James Doyle rides Jungle Cat to win the Al Quoz Sprint horse race at the Dubai World Cup at Meydan. (Photo credit: GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
Charlie Appleby enjoyed his most successful night of racing by claiming two features at Meydan on Dubai World Cup night.
The UK-based trainer, who heads the European Godolphin operation for Sheikh Mohammed, scored wins with Jungle Cat in the Al Quoz Sprint and Hawkbill in the Sheema Classic.
Appleby quickly returned back to Britain to prepare for the busy flat season and he's happy with how his team is travelling.
"We are living the dream to the Craven meeting, hopefully we will get to the Guineas, then we will see where we are," Appleby said. "Sometimes reality kicks in and you have to shuffle the cards but at the moment they are where I want them to be."
Appleby struggled to contain his emotions following the win of Jungle Cat, which secured his first career Group 1.
"I'm delighted. I don't know what's happened to Blue Point, but I knew Jungle Cat was in the form of his life," Appleby said.
"The team have done a fantastic job. Jungle Cat deserves to win a race like this. I fancied him last year and then the rain came and that was his chance gone.
"I don't think I'd ever had him in such good shape. When he won here before he broke well and he did it again, which was key.
"He's a Group 1 winner now and I'm very proud of him."
Hawkbill was an impressive winner of the Sheema Classic when beating home the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Poet's Word.
"Hawkbill has been a model of consistency and Will has given him a fantastic ride," Appleby added.
"When he was in the gates and started to have a bit of a go I thought 'oh, no', but he was sound and they've allowed him to run and I'm delighted.
"It's a huge team effort."
Appleby also noted the success of the global Godolphin operation which took home four of the nine feature races on the card.
"We have a great team at home and the hard work has paid off so I am delighted for them, the jockeys and, of course, Sheikh Mohammed to whom I am eternally grateful for this opportunity,” Appleby said.
One of those winners for Godolphin came in the Dubai Turf with Benbatl, which has is now being set for the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
"The plan will now be to go back to Royal Ascot for the Prince of Wales's Stakes," said Sheikh Mohammed.
"We have thought a great deal about this horse over the last three years and he won for us at Royal Ascot last year (Hampton Court Stakes).
"He's been improving all the time and now he's a Group 1 winner."
Sheikh Mohammed also scored the biggest win of the night, the Dubai World Cup with the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Thunder Snow.
Bin Suroor was delighted with the win on home soil and pleased with the ride from Belgium rider Christophe Soumillon.
"The horse is really brilliant. He's a Group 1 winner in the past as a two-year-old and last year and now he's come back to win a Group 1 again - the World Cup," Bin Suroor said.
"I think the jockey did a brilliant job. Nobody has done that before.
"He got away from stall 10 and got him handy. He took off and never looked like coming back."