Haqeeqy powered to an impressive victory in the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster under apprentice Benoît De la Sayette.
The youngster, who was claiming 7lb, had to sit and wait in behind horses for much of the journey, but never panicked and once in the clear the John and Thady Gosden-trained gelding rocketed clear in the manner of a smart performer. Sent off at 9-2, the winner finished a length and a half clear of Brunch, with Hortzadar third and Danyah fourth. The winner is owned by Hissa Hamdan al-Maktoum, whose father Sheikh Hamdan died earlier this week.
“It’s unbelievable and to have the support of these connections is a real thrill – I can’t thank everyone enough for legging me up,” said De la Sayette, who was remarkably having his first ride on turf. “I wanted to follow the [William] Haggas horse [Johan], but he didn’t run so it was a blank canvas.
“He jumped beautifully, I got behind someone as I just wanted to get him switched off. Luckily enough a gap opened at the end which I wasn’t expecting, as I thought I was going to be trapped, but the turn of foot he showed was thrilling.” The 18-year-old added: “To have a feeling like that, you can’t get better.”
Earlier at Doncaster, Top Rank announced himself as an exciting miler for the forthcoming season with an eyecatching win in the Doncaster Mile. James Tate’s grey had won five of his seven career outings before his seasonal reappearance – and as one of those was a Group Three he was conceding 5lb and more to some smart rivals.
But once PJ McDonald asked him to quicken up three furlongs out he moved through the field effortlessly, looking a class above, and went on to beat What’s The Story by a length at 11-2.
Tate said: “He looked to be bigger and better this year, but there was also an outside chance he was just fat!”
American challenger Mystic Guide provided Godolphin with victory in the 25th edition of the Dubai World Cup. The horserecorded a third successive victory in the Meydan showpiece in the owners’ blue silks, and their ninth in all following Thunder Snow’s back-to-back triumphs in 2018 and 2019.
Mike Stidham’s four-year-old, ridden by Luis Saez and sent off the 6-4 favourite, arrived from off the pace entering the straight and quickly took charge to prevail by three and three-quarter lengths from Japan’s Chuwa Wizard, becoming a 12th American-trained winner of the race. Godolphin’s Magny Cours, trained in France by André Fabre, stayed on to be third under William Buick, another length and a quarter back.