Secret Advisor back to his best in Meydan Cup
Lightly raced stayer Secret Advisor returned to form when leading home a Godolphin 1-2-3 in the Listed Meydan Cup on week five of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan, UAE, on Thursday, 30 January.
The six-year-old, who captured the Melrose Heritage Handicap at York, UK, for Charlie Appleby in 2018 but disappointed in two starts last year, was settled in fourth by Tadgh O’Shea as Dee Ex Bee led the seven-strong field for the 14-furlong handicap.
Dubai Horizon (Harry Bentley) and Dubhe (Brett Doyle) duelled for the lead in the straight as Dee Ex Bee started to fade, with Secret Advisor running on between horses to hit the front half a furlong out before going away for a length success.
Dubai Horizon took second, with Dubhe a further three-quarters of a length back in third.
Charlie Appleby said: “Secret Advisor is a horse who won the Melrose as a three-year-old. Then he had a year off and his first couple of starts after the layoff were disappointing, but I have to say that the team out here have done a fantastic job with him. He has never moved so well, looks great, and just seems to be enjoying life again.
“The race turned into a bit of a sprint and not too many of these old stayers have a change of gear, but Secret Advisor showed class tonight. Maybe going up in trip could produce even more improvement.
“We came here tonight thinking that we would struggle to get past Dee Ex Bee, so on the back of that I think that both Secret Advisor and Dubhe deserve a crack at the G3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy (Thursday, 27 February) and then we will see where we are.”
Tadgh O’Shea said: “That was a lovely spare ride, as both William Buick and James Doyle could not do the 53kg, but they both went through everything about the horse and gave me a great insight.
“They said Secret Advisor was a progressive horse, then he had a setback, but I think he is back on track now. He ran a bit fresh in stages tonight, but he is a stayer with a turn of foot and I think you will see more of him.
“The gallop was a bit stop and start. I settled pretty well but when Fabrice Veron came up on my outside down the back, my fella jumped on the bridle. I knew I had plenty left but I was conscious that he had not run for a while and I just wanted to sit and wait for the straight.
“Although Secret Advisor got to the line well, I don’t think staying won the day - I think his turn of foot did. He looks a nice horse going forward.”