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Ruling Dynasty takes charge of Vazirabad Handicap


Ruling Dynasty put two disappointing runs firmly behind him as he caught Al Nafir inside the final furlong to provide Charlie Appleby with a 1-2 in the Vazirabad Handicap at Meydan, UAE, on Friday, 9 February.

Five-year-old Ruling Dynasty looked set for a significant 2023 following a dominant win at Haydock Park but failed to land a blow in the Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot before again failing to shine at Meydan in December.

Al Nafir ensured a good test in the 12-furlong turf contest as he strode on into a clear early lead, with Ruling Dynasty settled in fourth by William Buick.

Mickael Barzalona increased his advantage on Al Nafir down the back and found himself eight lengths clear before the chasing pack started to close turning in.

Ruling Dynasty travelled strongly to take second just inside the final quarter-mile and readily picked up Al Nafir approaching the final half-furlong, quickening away in the closing strides to prevail by nearly three lengths.

Charlie Appleby said: “Applying headgear has helped Ruling Dynasty and Al Nafir set a decent gallop in front. That brought stamina into play, which is the one thing that Ruling Dynasty has always shown plenty of. It’s nice to see him get his head back in front and we will probably take him and Al Nafir back to Europe now.”

William Buick said: “Charlie decided to put some blinkers on Ruling Dynasty, just to keep him focused, and it worked. He is a pretty smart horse on his day and obviously came on for the run last time.

“When Al Nafir went clear down the backstraight, I did not think he would stop, but I picked him up well. I think Ruling Dynasty is a mile and a half horse – that is his preferred distance. I see him as a decent handicapper and let’s see if he can take this form back to the UK.”