William Buick remains in almost unstoppable form and having landed the Dubai Duty Free Stakes with Wild Beauty, the Godolphin rider made it a double on the afternoon when Modern News took the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing 30th Anniversary Spring Cup.
The four-year-old was always in contention over this straight mile and having been perfectly presented to challenge, Buick took it up inside the final furlong and stayed on nicely to hold the late thrust of Migration and Ryan Moore.
The 5-1 winner was unbeaten in three handicaps over seven furlongs last year and while he was stretched over a mile when seventh in the Lincoln, he gained compensation here, scoring by a neck.
Rogue Bear (3-1 joint-favourite) was a similar distance back in third, with Isla Kai (16-1) claiming minor honours.
Victory was the middle leg of a treble on the card for Charlie Appleby, and Buick said: “He is very genuine and very tough. He stayed that mile well.
“He disappointed in the Lincoln, but he bounced back today, so that’s good.
“I don’t think a mile and a quarter would be out of his compass at all.
“There are some good mile races for him, I would have thought. Things like the Royal Hunt Cup, or something like that. It is hard to win those races, but he looks like he would be competitive in them.”
Buick, who was recording his 11th winner this week, is going all out for a first jockeys’ title and added: “We’ll give it go and keep kicking. The horses are running so well at the moment. We work hard at it but you need that luck as well.”
Appleby’s third success came via Natural World (5-1), who led home stablemate Ottoman Fleet in the Retreat At Elcot Park Maiden Stakes.
This time, James Doyle was in the saddle, scoring by a neck from Buick’s mount.
Doyle said: “It was a nice debut and the pair of them had been working together and working similarly. He seemed to enjoy getting over a bit of distance and showed a good attitude late on when they came at him, so we’re very happy. He knew his job.”
Having denied Buick a treble, Doyle quipped: “I doubt Will will be kicking himself that he didn’t get on this one – he has to feed me some crumbs!”
William Haggas felt division one of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden Stakes was one full of future winners.
He hinted he will give My Prospero (13-8 favourite) a Royal Ascot entry, with the St James’s Palace Stakes a likely landing spot for the strapping son of Iffraaj, who took the mile event by a length and a quarter.
Tom Marquand’s mount, who is out of My Titania, showed plenty of raw ability to beat Thesis (5-2) by a length and a quarter, with Honiton (9-2) a further length and three-quarters back in third.
“He is just a baby but a big horse. This has always been a nice horse and I was disappointed when he ran at Newmarket, but he is fine now,” said Haggas.
“He doesn’t have any fancy entries yet. All the Ascot races close a week on Tuesday, so he might be getting one. Tom thinks he is raw, but there is some ability there.”
When suggested that the Heron Stakes over a mile at Sandown at the end of May could be a possible stepping stone, he laughed: “I don’t know why I bother coming. I don’t need racing managers with you lot around, do I?”
He added: “They were a nice looking bunch and he was very rowdy in the paddock – he was pleased to be out. Hopefully that will do him good and he’ll concentrate. He shouldn’t really stay more than this but if he is to be a decent horse, he need to learn to concentrate more. The jockey liked him and when the jockey likes him, it is usually a good sign.
“The first three in the betting finished in the first three and that is usually a sign that the form will be solid.”
Morghom has plenty of maturing to do, yet there is abundant talent under the bonnet if his three-and-three-quarter-length defeat of Zabeir in the second division of the mile maiden is to be taken at face value.
Jim Crowley’s mount, a son of Dubawi, was green in the parade ring and winner’s enclosure, yet he put his 16 rivals to the sword, quickening up in tremendous style to score at odds of 16-1.
Winning trainer, Marcus Tregoning said: “We had hopes for him but he has to grow up a bit, because he was green preliminary-wise. I am very pleased and he is by Dubawi, which are hard to come by.
“Hopefully he will get over it with racing. It has been a little bit touch and go with him at home a couple of times. He has worn blinkers a couple of times at home, but I think he’ll get there. It is just a matter of getting him racing.
“He has won well today. It is quite difficult from now on, but hopefully he will match up to it.
“I always liked this horse. He is the same colour as Mubtaker, that good horse I had, but he is obviously not a mile-and-a-half horse as he has plenty of pace, and his work has been good.
“I think we need to get the greenness sorted out. He is definitely a miler and has a good turn of foot.
“If he had to come back in trip it would not matter and he might be a bit sharper for the run, but I hope he is going to be a miler – they’re more valuable!”
Harry Redknapp has had a great week. The former West Ham boss saw the team he used to grace reach the Europa League semi-finals after a 3-0 away win in Lyon on Thursday, and for good measure cheered home 100-30 favourite Moktasaab to land the Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire Handicap in the hands of Callum Shepherd.
Of the William Knight-trained winner, Redknapp said: “He’s a nice horse and has got a lot of scope. I missed the price unfortunately – he was 10-1 last night! It was great to have a winner, though.
“It was brilliant to see West Ham win. The way things are going – Arsenal lost today, Spurs lost today – top four isn’t beyond them, either.”