Magic Lily gets up in G2 Cape Verdi thriller
The five-year-old daughter of New Approach, making only her fifth career appearance for Charlie Appleby in the turf highlight, led early on before racing in second as Dubai Blue (Saeed bin Suroor/Christophe Soumillon) opened up a clear advantage after a furlong.
Magic Lily moved up to press for the lead under James Doyle as Dubai Blue faded with two furlongs left, with Nisreen running on strongly down the inside rail to take a length advantage approaching the final furlong.
Nisreen and Magic Lily went on in the closing stages, with the Godolphin mare wearing down her rival in the final stride for a short-head verdict. Beyond Reason (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) kept on to take third, a further two and a half lengths in arrears.
Magic Lily’s winning time of 1m 34.84s shaved 0.35s off the previous best set by Championship in the 2017 G2 Zabeel Mile.
James Doyle said: “I did not think I had won in a head-down drive, but Magic Lily is tough and very game.
“It did not go entirely our way. The plan was to lead or, if not, be very close, which is what happened, but when Dubai Blue went past me, it set Magic Lily alight.
“She was a little fresh after having a bit of time off the track, and just over-raced slightly. I was impressed with how much she found at the finish given she didn’t really let go.
“She will definitely be better going up another furlong. We think she is a nine or 10-furlong filly and the G2 Balanchine (1m 1f, Thursday, 13 February) will suit.
“On homework, Beyond Reason was showing more and she is a sharper type of filly, but I guess the way things panned out today with the end-to-end fractions, it may have drawn the sting out of her a little bit.”