Old Persian strikes in G1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes
Old Persian gained a second G1 victory over a mile and a half with a dominant display in the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes at Woodbine, Canada, on Saturday, 14 September.
The Charlie Appleby-trained four-year-old, victorious in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan, UAE, in March, was slowly into his stride but soon recovered to race in a clear third as Cooler Mike tore off into an uncontested lead.
Old Persian went second as Cooler Mike faded turning for home and the Dubawi colt stayed on well to take up the running from Tiz A Slam a furlong and a half out. He readily opened up daylight over his five rivals and was eased on the line by James Doyle to beat Nessy by two and a half lengths in 2m 27.78s on good ground.
Alex Merriam of Godolphin said: “Old Persian didn’t run great in the Coronation Cup at Epsom, but that was coming back after a good effort in Dubai, and we were pleased enough with his run in Germany.
“They have gone a strong gallop today, which suited Old Persian, and James has given him a nice ride. It has worked out well.
“I have spoken to Charlie and we will see how Old Persian comes out of this race before deciding where to go next.”
James Doyle said: “I think the rain that fell during the week here definitely played to our strengths. The track is in great condition, it has dried throughout the day, and it’s a beautiful racing surface.
“From the minute Old Persian stepped on the track, he wasn’t really concentrating 100 per cent. He was more enjoying the crowd rather than what was going on in front of him, which is amazing because he has run some cracking races at Meydan and there is no bigger stand than there.
“I was a bit concerned early on. He missed the break, but they went pretty quick and we were able to muster some speed down the fence to secure a bit of space.
"We had a very clean trip the whole way through and he is a powerful stayer over this trip with a good turn of foot. When the pace collapsed at the bottom of the stretch, he excelled and sprinted away nicely.”