Zakouski stars in Meydan treble for Appleby and Buick

Charlie Appleby and William Buick took the honours with a treble at Meydan on Thursday, highlighted by Zakouski’s success in the Al Rashidiya.

The five-year-old had been beaten by Lord Glitters over the course and distance three weeks ago, but turned the tables in comprehensive fashion.

Buick had Zakouski well-positioned just off the pace set by Court House, before moving the Shamardal gelding off the rail early in the straight to make his move.

Quickening into the lead, Zakouski (10-11 favourite) went on to win by three-quarters of a length from Court House, who just held Lord Glitters for the second spot.

Appleby said: “I’m delighted. He’s definitely stepped forward for his first run. I felt that race became a bit disjointed.

“Coming into this evening we felt there would be more of a sensible pace and William got a lovely ride out there.

“We’ve stepped him up in trip there so we will probably look at the Jebel Hatta on Super Saturday as a semi-final for World Cup night.”

Zakouski was cut to 7-1 from 10-1 for the Dubai Turf on World Cup night with Paddy Power.

The red-hot combination got the meeting off to the best possible start when Star Safari (5-2 joint-favourite) took the Emirates Sky Cargo Handicap.

Star Safari was produced late to score by three-quarters of a length after two of Appleby’s other runners in the mile-and-a-half contest, Saqqara King and Al Dabaran, had made the running.

Secret Protector looked a bright prospect when landing the odds in cosy fashion to give the pair a quick double in the Meydan Trophy.

The 4-11 favourite led a furlong and a half from home and bounded clear to win by five and a half lengths from Areen.

The War Front colt had looked very promising in both his starts at Kempton and could be set for a good campaign on turf in the UK.

“I think he’s going to be one of the horses that is going to be towards the forefront of our three-year-old squad,” said Appleby.

“He’d have gained a lot of confidence this evening and physically he’s improving week on week. We’ll go back and look at the options. We’ve got something like the Feilden over nine furlongs at Newmarket.

“William said he could come back in trip. Personally I think he could be a nice 10-furlong horse for 2021.

“We’ve had a good night and we’ve had a few get beat as well. It shows how strong the competition is at the Carnival.”

Secret Protector was given a quote of 50-1 for the 2000 Guineas with Paddy Power.

Salute The Soldier (11-2) put himself into contention for the Dubai World Cup with victory in round two of the Al Maktoum Challenge.

Third in round one three weeks earlier, the Fawzi Nass-trained six-year-old was always in a good position behind the pace-setting Capezzano.

Adrie De Vries kicked on a furlong and a half out, but the strong gallop started to tell and he was all out to hold Thegreatcollection by a length.

De Vries said: “He hit the front soon enough. He always just does enough. He was getting very tired towards the end, but he was entitled to. We went fast and the ground is riding a bit deep.

“Hopefully we can now go for the big one (Dubai World Cup) with this horse. He has to step up again, but I think he will learn from today.

“He’s a late maturer and there is still room for improvement.”

The John Gosden-trained Dubai Warrior was awash with sweat before the race and was never at the races. Pushed along from the start, he was eased down by Frankie Dettori when well-beaten some way from home.

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