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Key Victory flies home at Meydan


Five-year-old Key Victory bounced back to form when coming from last to first in the closing mile turf handicap on week two of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan, UAE, on Thursday, 9 January.

The son of Teofilo, who beat subsequent G1 Dubai Sheema Classic hero Old Persian in a Newmarket Listed race in May, 2018, was held up at the rear of the 12-strong field by James Doyle.

Key Victory took closer order around runners turning in and accelerated markedly down the centre of the course in the straight, taking up the running with half a furlong left before going away to beat Firmament by a length and a half.

His trainer Charlie Appleby said: “Key Victory is a horse we have always held in high regard, as his homework has always been very good. He beat Old Persian as a three-year-old back at the Guineas meeting in 2018.

“Tonight, James’s instructions from that draw (13) were to drop in and come wide. He seems to be a horse who would not be the bravest going down the inside. Once I saw the fractions early on, they were going a good gallop and I felt it was going to be there for a closer.

“It is nice for him to get his head in front and hopefully he will gain a bit of confidence from that.”

James Doyle added: “Key Victory always worked nicely at home during the last Carnival but could not get it together on the track. It all came together tonight, and the ease in the ground and the solid pace definitely helped.

“From draw 13, we only had one option, but Charlie did say that when you do come, give him plenty of daylight. I felt last year that when he was asked to creep through horses, he was just letting us down a bit.

“It could not have gone much better for him tonight and you are banking on him gaining a bit of confidence from that. As the Carnival progresses, you are more guaranteed a good pace over a mile than 10 furlongs, so I think we will stick to a mile in another handicap and hope it all works out well again.”