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Jungle Cat keeps the G1s coming at Caulfield

Mike Hedge

A brilliant performance by veteran sprinter Jungle Cat and an equally stunning effort by his trainer Charlie Appleby kept the G1 trophies coming for Godolphin on Saturday, 22 September.

After securing G1 wins in Ireland and Canada last weekend, Appleby this time turned his attention to Australia and the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield.

And he struck again, Jungle Cat adding another top-level victory to the one he scored in the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night at Meydan, Dubai, in March.

The win goes down as a landmark in Godolphin’s global operation as the first at G1 by an English trained sprinter in Australia.

Given a perfect ride by James Doyle, Jungle Cat claimed his win in the last stride, scoring by a half-head from Dollar For Dollar with a short half-head to Land Of Plenty in third place.

Jungle Cat, a son of the Darley stallion Iffraaj is likely to step up from the 1,400m of Saturday’s race to one of a selection of G1 races at 1,600m in Melbourne during the spring.

He might then cash in on the popularity of his sire, a prolific producer of top-class middle-distance runners from his New Zealand base.

“That was the aim of bringing him over here,” Appleby said.

“The fact that he’s by Iffraaj, he’s a quick ground horse and he’s a good looking individual. Hopefully you guys over here might like him.

”It’s a job he deserves, because he’s been ultra-consistent, he’s danced every dance back in Europe and won the Al Quoz Sprint.

“This year in Dubai he really captured his form.

“G1s over seven furlongs in Europe are few-and-far between and mostly they’re in France on easy ground which doesn’t suit him.”

Jungle Cat has now won eight races and been placed in another 12 of his 31 starts, Saturday’s win taking his racetrack earnings beyond £1.2 million.

The six-year-old will remain in training in Australia for the remainder of the spring.

“I think he could step up to the mile. He doesn’t half dig deep,” Appleby said.

Godolphin’s locally-trained pair Home Of The Brave and Osborne Bulls both ran well, finishing fourth and fifth respectively.