Walton Street leads home 1-2-3-4 in G2 Dubai City Of Gold
Walton Street gained the biggest success of his career so far when comfortably beating Dubai Future, Desert Fire and Brilliant Light as Godolphin dominated the G2 Dubai City Of Gold Sponsored By Emirates Holidays on Super Saturday, 6 March.
The seven-year-old, bidding for a second straight 12-furlong victory at Meydan, UAE, having lowered the course record on his seasonal return in January, was a little sluggish from the stalls but soon settled in third behind Communique and Brilliant Light (Harry Bentley).
Walton Street went second down the back straight and loomed up to hit the front as Communique faded with half a mile to race. The Charlie Appleby-trained son of Cape Cross strode on into a clear advantage under William Buick entering the straight and went further clear inside the final furlong, equalling his record time of 2m 26.83s.
Dubai Future (Pat Cosgrave) stayed on in second, three and a half lengths behind the winner, ahead of Desert Fire (Andrea Atzeni) and Brilliant Light as horses representing Saeed bin Suroor filled the minor places.
Charlie Appleby said: “Walton Street has shown a progressive profile over his last few starts and got the job done today at G2 level, which we are delighted with.
“He won’t look out of place in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup Night. We know that we will probably be running around for a place against the top horses but he ticks a lot of boxes, with home advantage and holding the track record over the course and distance.”
William Buick said: “I would have given Walton Street plenty of credit after his last win. As the Carnival progressed, his form looked better and better without him even running and it all stacked up for him.
“Today, the race worked out slightly differently as we were slow from the get-go but he got into the race nicely. He is a big striding horse and a staying horse, so we got ourselves into a good slot and, the further he goes, the better he goes.
“He is in really good form at the moment and is a very straightforward, honest horse. He ticks a lot of boxes. He races in a nice rhythm and is an ideal staying horse to ride. You can put him anywhere and, instead of a turn of foot, he gradually goes through the gears. You have to give him a bit of time to build into it but, once he changes his leads and gets on his off-fore, he goes.
“It was a good performance and I suppose he beat the right horse in Dubai Future. These horses can progress through the Carnival and the handicaps here are hard to win. When you see a winning margin like his last time, you have to respect that.
“He has backed it up in what is categorically and historically a very good Dubai Sheema Classic trial, so you would have to take him seriously in that race.”