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Magic Lily headlines Dubai Future Champions Festival day one contenders


Highly promising two-year-olds Magic Lily, Sound And Silence and Expressiy feature among seven Godolphin runners on day one of the Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket, UK, on Friday, October 13. 

The three juveniles are trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick. Magic Lily has been supplemented for the G1 Fillies’ Mile following a comprehensive eight-length victory over the same course and distance on her September 23 debut. 

The New Approach filly, drawn 12, faces 11 rivals including the first three from the G1 Moyglare Stud Stakes – Happily, Magical and September. 

Charlie Appleby commented: “Magic Lily was impressive over this course and distance on her debut and came out of that race well. 

“We had been toying with the idea of supplementing her and decided to let her take her chance after she worked on Saturday.

“She is a filly for next year but won’t look out of place in this field and we are confident that she will run a nice race.” 

Sound And Silence goes for a second straight G3 success in the opening five-furlong Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project Cornwallis Stakes after storming to a decisive win over a furlong further in the Prix Eclipse at Maisons-Laffitte, France, on September 20. 

The Exceed And Excel colt, who will exit from stall eight, has to give weight all round to his 11 opponents.

Expressiy, who lines up in the G3 Godolphin Lifetime Care Oh So Sharp Stakes over seven furlongs, disappointed over a mile in the G3 Prix d'Aumale at Chantilly, France, on September 3, but bounced back to form with a clear-cut success in a seven-furlong Polytrack novice race at Chelmsford City on October 5.  The filly is drawn eight of the 14 runners.

Charlie Appleby added: “Sound And Silence has run consistently well all season and his last performance on soft ground at Maisons-Laffitte was another step up compared to his previous form.

“We are coming back to five furlongs on a sounder surface, but he has ticked both of those boxes before when winning the Windsor Castle Stakes and Roses Stakes. 

“Expressiy went to France and found the experience a little bit too much, too soon for her. She didn’t see out the mile that day, but won nicely over seven furlongs last time out.”

Godolphin is also represented in the day’s main race for older horses as Dutch Connection (Charlie Hills/James Doyle) aims for a second G2 victory over seven furlongs in the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes. 

The five-year-old horse captured the G2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood in 2016 and drops back down a furlong after coming home a creditable sixth in the G1 Woodbine Mile at Woodbine, Canada, on September 16. 

Charlie Hills commented: “Dutch Connection had to miss the Prix de la Foret earlier this month due to soft ground, but I couldn’t be more pleased with him at home. 

“He would have his best chance on quicker going and I am hoping that the weather stays dry.”

First Nation (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle) lines up in the Old Rowley Cup, having run consistently well in major handicaps throughout this season, including when filling the runner-up spot behind Atty Persse in the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot in June. 

He is joined in the 12-furlong heritage handicap by High End (Saeed bin Suroor/Jim Crowley), who won his first three starts before going down by half a length when second in a Yarmouth handicap over an extended 11 furlongs on September 19. 

Charlie Appleby declared: “First Nation has been consistent all season. He is one of those horses that deserves to win a decent handicap like this as he always runs a very solid race. 

“He is in good order and should be bang there again.”

Saeed bin Suroor said: “High End has been working nicely and looks in good condition. He is a progressive horse and is ready to go again.”

Winter Lightning (Saeed bin Suroor/Oisin Murphy), a half-sister to dual G1 winner Thunder Snow, makes her debut in a seven-furlong maiden for two-year-old fillies on the same card.