Appleby looks for third Al Quoz Sprint victory with loaded fleet


Godolphin mount one of the strongest challenges seen for the G1 Al Quoz Sprint when the exciting Man Of Promise heads a quartet of star speedsters over the straight six-furlong course at Meydan.

Depending on the day, who the favorite will be in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (sponsored by Azizi Developments) may change. The trainer will not.

Charlie Appleby, winner of this race in 2018 and 2019, saddles three of the most logical winners in Creative Force, Man Of Promise and Naval Crown.

While the race features four Group 1 winners, it is the horse with one lone Group 3 score to his name, Man Of Promise, that gets top billing. In his last race on Super Saturday, the five-year-old gelding was an eye-popping four and three-quarter length victor in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint up the stands side. That performance left Appleby thoroughly impressed.

“William [Buick] slid off him on Super Saturday and said that if he does that again in three weeks’ time we have the winner of the Al Quoz Sprint,” said the trainer. “His work on Tuesday was identical to the one before Super Saturday, so we felt William had to be on him.

“But Man Of Promise has to prove he can do it at this level, which Creative Force has already showed he can do.”

When last seen in October at Ascot, Creative Force was an easy winner of the G1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes and was put away with the Al Quoz in mind. With preparations quietly completed at Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket, it was left to Buick to decide who he would pilot Saturday night.

“It wasn’t an easy choice and these choices are a privilege to have, but they also take a bit of thinking through,” he said. “We all saw Man Of Promise on Super Saturday and he was very impressive. He’s done that twice this season now, he keeps backing it up and everyone is very happy with him at home. Creative Force is a Group 1 winner but I went with the horse that had the track experience and race fitness. I wouldn’t necessarily be saying that there is too much between them and I wouldn’t say that my decision is an indicator of who has the better chance.”

The third of the three Godolphin blue entrants is Naval Crown, a winner two starts back at Meydan Racecourse in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort over 1400m. The four-year-old Dubawi homebred has shown he has the ability and attracts the services of Frankie Dettori in the irons.

“We’re going to ride him a bit differently to how we did in Saudi, when he had a wide draw and was forced to hit the lids early,” said Appleby. “Personally, I think he’s going to run a really big race.”


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