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Ghaiyyath storms home in G2 Prix d’Harcourt

Racenews

Four-year-old Dubawi colt Ghaiyyathinfo-icon ran his opponents ragged in the 10-furlong G2 Prix d’Harcourt, the feature of the opening Longchamp fixture of 2019 on Sunday, 7 April, and is likely to be aimed at the French course’s top race, the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (6 October).

On his seasonal debut, the progressive Charlie Appleby-trained performer, enjoyed his fourth successive victory when making all the running under William Buick.

He strolled home in 2m 2.87s after going well clear in the straight before being heavily eased in the closing stages to beat another Godolphin runner, Soleil Marin (Andre Fabre/Pierre-Charles Boudot), the only rival able to try and challenge, by a length and a half. He winning margin could have been so much greater.

This was only Ghaiyyath’s fifth start and Charlie Appleby is very keen about future prospects.

He said: “I am delighted with that performance – he is a horse with a future. He is another Dubawi who has improved from three to four.

“He had G3 success as a two-year-old and as a three-year-old, and now has won a G2. There is an exciting year ahead for him.

“We have always been excited by this horse and he was a Derby prospect last year before having setback. He has wintered well in Dubai.

“Ghaiyyath is a very strong galloper. If something could go faster than him, then we would let them go on, but nothing can give him a lead because he is such a strong traveller.

“Softer conditions will suit him better and we will probably work backwards from the Arc if His Highness Sheikh Mohammed would like to do that.”

The G1 Prix Ganay (28 April) at Longchamp is the possible next target.

Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin was pleased with Soleil Marin and said: “He ran really well and the jockey said the horse is in the form of his life.

“We were slightly worried about the ground, but he performed very well and was beaten by a better horse on the day.”