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HRN Original Blog:
Across the Pond

Appleby and de Kock at the double as Shuruq surges home

Shuruq AMR1 615 X 400
Photo: Dubai Racing Club//Andrew Watkins

Charlie Appleby and Mike de Kock both left Meydan with a duo of victories on Thursday as the Dubai venue played host to the first night of its International Racing Carnival on the road to the 2014 Dubai World Cup.

However, it was Saeed bin Suroor who was celebrating victory in the feature race as Shuruq ran out a comfortable winner of round one of the Al Maktoum Challenge.

The winner of the UAE Oaks last season, Shuruq had struggled for form in England this season, with a third placed finish in the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes at Sandown being the pick of her sub-par performances, yet a return to the warmer climes of Dubai saw Shuruq back to her very best as she reeled in the gallant front runner Empire Storm for a three-quarter lengths success.

Tenth in the Dubai Duty Free last year, Mushreq was the headline victory for Mike de Kock in the Listed Singspiel Stakes. A trainer that has warned of the delayed progress of some of his stars this term, Mushreq has not had the troubled quarantine passage to Meydan that most of his stablemates have endured and was fit and ready to power to a comfortable one-and-a-quarter lengths victory over the quirky Gabrial. 

Anaerobio completed a double for De Kock in the concluding race. Rested in Dubai during the off season, Anaerobio bounced back with avengance in showing the turn of foot that many had expected to see with much more regularity at last season's Carnival. 

Fulbright gained his first win since the 2012 Challenge Stakes as he powered to the lead inside the final stages of the Longines Dolce Vita Handicap over seven furlongs. 

A five year old son of Exceed and Excel, Fulbright had struggled in all three of his starts in England last year but has returned to Meydan a rejuvinated type by readily accounting for the likes of Bertiewhittle and Mont Ras as Charlie Appleby saddled the 1-2 in this early season handicap.

Appleby was also at hand in the first International Racing Carnival race as Ahtoug bounced out of his five month lay off to reel in the Fawzi Naas-trained Hototo in the final stages of the Longines Master Collection Handicap.

However, one victory which potentially epitomises the dream-like state that the Meydan backdrop readily provides was that of Busker who powered clear off of a pedestrian early pace to provide trainer Ahmed bin Harmash with his first International Racing Carnival winner.

Having only trained his first winner at Meydan with his second runner in December, bin Harmash was again able to celebrate victory with his jockey Adrie de Vries who made light work of his nine rivals with a strong late run aboard Busker.


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Older Comments about Appleby and de Kock at the double as Shuruq surges home...

@Brian Zipse, I think that assessment is spot on. Not only do I not see a DWC winner coming out of the AMC Rd. 1, I think it's more likely than not that any of the horses in that race that are seen on world cup night are much more likely to be seen in the G2 Godolphin Mile field than the G1 Dubai World Cup field, IMO.
Nice to see the filly beat the boys, but I don't see any DWC winner coming out of this round of the Al Maktoum Challenge.

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Meet Dan Munn

Dan Munn is the Chief International Correspondent for Horse Racing Nation, covering the premier races from Europe as well as introducing and updating our readers on the very best of African, Asian and Australasian thoroughbred competition.

Based in England, Dan became a regular contributor to Horse Racing Nation in 2012 and continues to bring us the most up to date news from Europe with some exclusive interviews and answers to the questions we all want to ask along the way.