Art Du Val creates striking impression in Meydan Trophy
The very promising Art Du Val continued a bright start to his career when scoring impressively in the inaugural Meydan Trophy over nine and a half furlongs on turf at Meydan, UAE, on Thursday, 14 February.
The Charlie Appleby-trained three-year-old colt, making his third appearance after scoring on debut and finishing second in a Listed race last year, broke well under William Buick and raced a bit keenly behind the leaders in fifth as Burj (Saeed bin Suroor/Christophe Soumillon) led the 12-strong field.
Art Du Val made good headway to go second turning into the straight and quickened strongly to hit the front over a furlong and a half from home. He quickly went clear to score by four lengths heavily eased down over Bila Shak in 1m 56.94s on good ground.
Charlie Appleby commented: “We hoped that Art Du Val would progress nicely out in Dubai.
“Our first plan was to run him on the dirt in the Al Bastakiya Trial (Thursday, 24 January), but he had a bit of a dirty scope. We gave him all the time he needed and he came into this race in good condition.
“William gave him a lovely ride. We knew there would be a pace in the race and Art Du Val was a little bit headstrong for the first two furlongs but, once William got a bit of cover, he settled and then picked up well.
“I think he is going the right way. We have always felt that he is a Black Type horse and he was placed in a Listed race on his second start.
“The one thing we were confident with tonight was the trip. Brett Doyle rides him out at home and he has done a great job – we were always confident that Art Du Val was coming into this race in great order.
“The likelihood is that we will head towards the Listed Al Bastakiya on Super Saturday (1m 1f 110y, 9 March) and have a crack on the dirt.
“You can’t beat race experience on the dirt out here, but Art Du Val has the pedigree for it and we train on a dirt surface at Marmoom.
“I am sure we will have a crack at Al Bastakiya and I am confident that he can run a nice race, which hopefully might give him a slot in the G2 UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup Night (1m 1f 110y, Saturday, 30 March).”
William Buick said: “Art Du Val jumped well. We got into a decent pitch and he was a little fresh early doors, but we got into a nice rhythm and quickened up really well.
“He has matured and improved a lot from two to three and is a nice horse for sure . It was a very pleasing performance.
“His pedigree suggests that this trip would be plenty far enough, but he stayed it comfortably and I wouldn’t see any problem in dropping back to a mile either. He has a lot of tactical speed. We will see what the team want to do.
“Dirt will be an unknown. He is obviously very good and very comfortable on turf, but it is very hard to know how they will run on dirt until you try it.
“There was plenty to build on tonight and he should improve on all fronts.”