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Naval Crown downs Master Of The Seas in Meydan Classic


Naval Crown revelled on his return to turf as he made most of the running for a cosy victory over Master of The Seas in the mile Listed Meydan Classic at Meydan, UAE, on Thursday, 25 February.

The G3 UAE 2,000 Guineas third was smartly into his stride and disputed the early running with Mayehaab before being sent on into a two-length advantage by Mickael Barzalona after the first quarter-mile.

Last season’s G2 Superlative Stakes winner Master Of The Seas (William Buick) raced freely in fifth early on before moving up to fourth turning in as Naval Crown continued to travel kindly in front.

Master Of the Seas went second a furlong and a half out but could not challenge his stablemate in the closing stages, with Naval Crown holding on well to prevail by a length and three-quarters.

Yurman took third, a further eight lengths behind the Charlie Appleby-trained sons of Dubawi.

Charlie Appleby said: “We pitched Naval Crown at Group level as a two-year-old because he was showing us the right stuff, and he was twice placed in G3 company. We weren’t planning to run him in the UAE 2,000 Guineas but he was working nicely on the dirt at home and therefore we felt that we would give him a chance in that race, where he ran very solidly.

“Returning back to turf was always going to suit, so he came into tonight race-fit and with conditions to suit. He has gone and done it nicely.

“Personally, I think the horse will come back in trip when we get him back to Europe and we could look at something like the G3 Jersey Stakes for him. He has plenty of speed.

“We were pleased with Master Of The Seas. He is very much a work in progress – he was very keen in the G1 National Stakes last year and has shown some signs of that at home. The lads have done a good job in getting him to relax.

“He is fresh and well, and he showed that this evening. William said that he will come on a bundle for that, so at least he learned something. Although he was keen for the first two furlongs, William then got him into a rhythm. He came to win his race and got tired up the straight. I am happy that we have got him out.”

Mickael Barzalona added: “I rode Naval Crown last year in France when the ground was very heavy and he was still very immature. I went to the front that day and he went too fast before getting tired in the last furlong. He was fit today and I think that is the reason he won.

“We wanted to have a nice rhythm for both horse and I was getting some confidence in front – it was better to be in front than beside Mayehaab early in the race. I am sure that Charlie will be able to drop him in trip and he has done well today.”