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Star Safari dazzles with course record at Meydan


Unexposed four-year-old Star Safariinfo-icon lowered Ghaiyyath’s turf course record for a mile and a quarter at Meydan, UAE, with a swooping handicap success on Thursday, 27 February.

Making only his fourth career appearance for Charlie Appleby, the son of Sea The Stars was restrained towards the rear of the field by Mickael Barzalona as Franz Kafka set a strong gallop for the nine runners.

Star Safari still had most of his rivals in front of him turning in but quickened markedly to go second approaching the final furlong. He continued to make relentless headway despite showing signs of inexperience, reeling in Franz Kafka with less than half a furlong to race before going away for a length success.

Star Safari’s winning time of 01m 59.80s shaved more than half a second off the mark set by Ghaiyyath in the G3 Dubai Millennium Stakes on Thursday, 20 February.

Mickael Barzalona said: “I could feel that Star Safari was travelling very easily the whole way. I had a lot of ground to make up but he showed a very good quality to get up. I had plenty under my hands and I knew that, if I got a clear run, he was going to go for it.

“He is still a young horse and I am sure that he is going to come on a lot for this race.”

Charlie Appleby said: “Star Safari has been a tricky character - we have gelded him but he is still right on a knife edge. He holds a lot of ability and the way he quickened tonight was very impressive. I think there might still be a nice handicap in him back in Europe. He was still very green and is very immature at home but it was a pleasing performance.”