Glorious Journey gave his season a much-needed boost when returning to winning ways at the scene of his greatest success in the Dubai Duty Free Cup at Newbury.
Having claimed the Hungerford Stakes at the track 12 months ago, the Charlie Appleby-trained five-year-old had looked out of sorts in two Pattern race outings in Britain this season after returning from a spell in Dubai.
Appearing to appreciate a drop down to Listed company, the Dubawi gelding quickened away smartly late on in the seven-furlong prize to cross the line with a length in hand from 1000 Guineas fourth Final Song, completing a treble for James Doyle and double for Appleby.
Doyle said of the 11-2 shot: “He has got the form in the book, but he had two below-par runs and we were on the comeback mission today. The conditions suited and it was beautiful ground out there.
“The little bit of cover early was key as he likes to just follow one for a couple of furlongs, then I was able to let him go just inside the two and he quickened up well.
“He travelled super and he is back to how he was before. He was a little bit fresh in his first two starts and it may have just taken a bit of work to put him on his A game, but he was really relaxed today. I imagine he will step up back up into Group race company now.”
Doyle had earlier been on the mark aboard the George Boughey-trained Mirage Mac (5-1) in the Racing TV Novice Median Auction Stakes and Humanitarian (7-2) for John Gosden in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap.
Glorious Journey’s victory was the second leg of a quick-fire brace for Appleby, who sent out Yibir (5-2) to victory in the 40 Year Anniversary Haynes, Hanson & Clark Conditions Stakes.
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James Doyle remains optimistic Glorious Journey can make the most of a drop in class by returning to winning ways in the Dubai Duty Free Cup at Newbury.
The gelded son of Dubawi, one of two runners in the seven-furlong Listed prize for trainer Charlie Appleby alongside D’bai, has been out of luck since landing a Group Two at Meydan on his return in January.
Having beaten only two home in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood on his penultimate start, Glorious Journey was well held last time in his attempt to claim back-to-back wins in the Hungerford Stakes over course and distance.
Doyle said: “His last two runs have been a bit questionable. It was a funny race in the Hungerford as Breathtaking Look and Dream Of Dreams scooted up the far rail and we never really got into it.
“He definitely needs to put a couple of below-par runs behind him. The team at home are happy with him, so hopefully he can go well, but he does need to bounce back.
“Conditions should be perfect for him as we know he likes the track having won the Group Two there last year.
“Hopefully the ground won’t dry out too much as he does like to get his toe in, but good ground should be fine.”
The step back up to seven furlongs is expected to suit the Simon and Ed Crisford-trained Jash, who will be looking to score for the first time since winning a Listed event over the same trip at Newmarket last May.
Ed Crisford said: “His first run back on the all-weather didn’t really suit him, but he finished behind Glen Shiel and the form of that race has worked out well, while the ground at York last time was probably too soft for him.
“He has got a long way to go to reach the form he had as a two-year-old, but we think stepping back up to seven furlongs should suit him and the ground should suit him, so I’m sure he will run a nice race.
“There is definitely still something there as he has been training really well at home, but I think we will find out a lot more about where we stand with him after this.”
Andrew Balding believes Jersey Stakes third Symbolize can make his presence felt if producing a repeat effort of his latest second in a conditions event at Haydock.
Balding said: “He has been consistent at a good level all year and is very versatile ground wise.
“He seems in good form and I’m hoping he will run well again, but it looks a tough race.
“He was beaten by a good horse (last time), but he only just lost out at the finish and I was delighted with the performance.”
Rossa Ryan is confident Baradar will have no problems tackling a mile for the first time as he puts his unbeaten record on the line in the 40 Year Anniversary Haynes, Hanson & Clark Conditions Stakes.
The Roger Varian-trained Muhaarar colt made the perfect start to his career with victory over seven furlongs at the track last month.
Ryan said: “I thought it was a good debut run. He was green and he got a bit lost between the three and the two, but I really liked his attitude. He switched on in the last furlong and sprinted away and I had trouble pulling him up.
“He has come out of the race very well. He is less exposed than the rest of the field as he has only had one run and there is plenty of improvement there. He has the pedigree to be a very nice horse.
“I think a mile will suit him well. He has done everything right so far and his work has been very good since his first run.”
Knight Salute will bid to give Classic-winning handler Balding his first victory in the conditions prize which includes 1981 Derby hero Shergar and multiple Group One winners Rainbow Quest and Nayef on its roll of honour.
Balding said: “He was very disappointing at Salisbury and we expected much better from him. The ground could have been a possibility as to why he didn’t run well, but we are on a fact-finding mission.
“He won well enough at Sandown the time before and hopefully he can run like he did that day. At this moment in time, I think a mile is his trip.”
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