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Staying prizes beckon for Ispolini following Meydan success


Progressive four-year-old Ispolini is set to return to Pattern company following a comfortable victory in a turf handicap over a mile and three quarters on week three of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan, UAE, on Thursday, 17 January. 

The Charlie Appleby-trained son of Dubawi, stepping up in trip after chasing home another Godolphin runner Bin Battuta in a 12-furlong handicap at the same course on Thursday, 3 January, was held up in second last as Red Galileo (Saeed bin Suroor/Christophe Soumillon) set a steady pace for the seven runners. 

Ispolini, partnered by James Doyle, made good headway on the outside turning for home, quickened well to take up the running with a furlong and a half remaining and won eased down to beat Suspicious Mind by a length and a quarter in 2m 57.14s on good ground. It was a second victory on his seventh start and he has never finished out of the frame.

Red Galileo came home a clear third, two and a half lengths behind Suspicious Mind. 

Charlie Appleby said: “I think the step up in trip has brought around the improvement in Ispolini. He travelled very well over a mile and a half last time, but Bin Battuta beat us fair and square. 

“We questioned whether it was worth taking a chance and stepping him up to a mile and six furlongs this evening. After discussions with James and the team, we felt that this was a great opportunity as, if he did stay, it would open up some doors for him. 

“Ispolini stayed the trip well and the G3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy (1m 6f, Thursday, 28 February) is potentially a nice, logical route for him now. 

“That victory will have done his confidence the world of good because he ran in some nice races as a three-year-old but always found one too good or was probably not quite good enough over the trip. 

“His first run out here would have certainly brought him on. Paul Eddery, who rides Ispolini at home and has done a great job, was very happy with him during the last couple of weeks.

“He is a horse who can hopefully have a bright future in the staying division.”

James Doyle added: “Charlie was very confident that Ispolini would stay today’s trip. Ispoloini was quite fresh the first time and I was not convinced he would get the trip. That is why Charlie is one of the best in the business - he got it spot on. 

“Ispolini takes a bit of a grip – he took a bit of settling and I was a tad further back than I wanted to be just to make sure I got cover to help him relax. He still pulled, but he is learning and is relatively lightly-raced. I was quite relieved when we got into the straight and I could let go of him. He was very professional in the finish.

“I think Ispolini can keep progressing and there are some nice races for him out here, such as the Nad Al Sheba Trophy, which will be a bit stronger race than today. 

“Obviously, Ispolini needs to step up a gear but he is entitled to do that and it was a good performance tonight.”