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Caspian Prince kicks off 2021 campaign in Dubai Dash

Veteran sprinter Caspian Prince begins what is likely to be his final season in Meydan on Thursday.

Part-owned and trained by Mick Appleby, the speedster officially turned 12 this month but showed throughout 2020 he is far from a back number.

He has had 106 races, winning 21 times and is approaching the £1million mark in prize-money earned. He will be beginning a fifth Dubai campaign in the Dubai Dash, which unusually for him sees him carrying a good deal less than top-weight.

“He still seems in good order. He went out last week and if he’s in the sort of form he showed last year, he should give a good account,” said Appleby.

“It’s unusual for him not to be in a handicap with top-weight, hopefully he should go well.

“He’s got a big following – people like these sprinters, they can follow them year after year. I imagine this will be his last season, hopefully he can get a win and try to go out on a high.

“He’s won almost £1million and, sadly from my point of view, horses like him don’t come along very often.

“He broke a track record at Yarmouth last year and there still won’t be many as fast as he is over that first furlong.”

At the head of the weights is the former Roger Varian-trained Ekhtiyaar, who is now with Doug O’Neill, while Charlie Hills’ Equilateral and Charlie Appleby’s Lazuli also line up.

Danzeno set to bypass Ayr Gold Cup date

Leading Ayr Gold Cup fancy Danzeno is likely to miss the race, trainer Mick Appleby has confirmed.

The consistent nine-year-old has been towards the head of the ante-post lists for the big betting race of the weekend after finishing second in the Portland at Doncaster last week.

Danzeno has never run in the race before and Appleby is favouring a contest at Nottingham instead.

Appleby said: “He was unlucky not to win at Doncaster the other day, it was just unfortunate something came out the other side and beat him.

“He is in the Ayr Gold Cup and though he definitely gets in, he is more than likely not to go and we have near enough decided that.

“I think it is more likely that we will go to Nottingham the week after, as there is a 0-105 handicap there. He has done well this season and held his form well.”