Glorious Journey leads home clean sweep in G2 Al Fahidi Fort
Glorious Journey showed his customary strong turn of foot as he beat Mythical Magic and Mubtasim to provide trainer Charlie Appleby with a 1-2-3 in the seven-furlong G2 Al Fahidi Fort on turf at Meydan, UAE, on Thursday, 23 January.
Last season’s G2 Hungerford Stakes winner was held up in fifth early on by James Doyle, with Mubtasim (Brett Doyle) leading the seven-strong field and Mythical Magic (William Buick) settling in second.
Glorious Journey went fourth at the half-way point and cruised up to challenge Mubtasim and Mythical Magic with a furlong to race. The five-year-old son of Dubawi asserted inside the final half-furlong to score in a quick time of 1m 22.35s, just 0.03s outside D’bai’s course record.
Mythical Magic rallied to take second, three-quarters of a length behind Glorious Journey with another length back to Mubtasim in third.
Charlie Appleby said: “I was very pleased with the performances of Glorious Journey, Mythical Magic and Mubtasim, who have all run excellent races.
“Glorious Journey is becoming a bit of a specialist over this distance now. We have accepted an invitation to run him in the 1351 Turf Sprint over just short of seven furlongs in Saudi Arabia at the end of February, so hopefully he will head there.
“We will aim to step Mythical Magic back up in trip for another crack at the G2 Zabeel Mile (Thursday, 20 February), which he won last year, while we will try to find another nice race at the Carnival for Mubtasim.”
James Doyle said: “This has been a nice race for me. Jungle Cat won it two years back, then D’bai won it last year, and Glorious Journey did it nicely today.
“It was a difficult decision for William Buick to make between the three of them tonight because there is not much between them. There was only a length and three-quarters between them at the line.
“Glorious Journey was lumped with a penalty, but he is a classy horse on his day and I am sure he will improve fitness wise.
“Mubtasim is quite a free going horse, so we visualised him being up on the speed. He maintains a gallop as well, so I expected the pace to be good and I think that is backed up by the time, which looks pretty decent.
“Glorious Journey loves to travel in behind – he oozes confidence – then you pull him out and he has a turn of foot to put the race to bed.”