Blair House showed a sparkling turn of foot to gain his first G1 success on his Pattern race debut in the nine-furlong Jebel Hatta Sponsored By Emirates Airline on turf at Meydan, UAE, on Super Saturday, 10 March,.
The five-year-old, an impressive course and distance handicap winner for Charlie Appleby on 17 February, was soon covered up towards the rear of the 11 runners on the inside rail by James Doyle.
Blair House only had one horse behind him turning for home, but travelled strongly to race behind the leaders entering the final quarter-mile.
After briefly having to wait for a gap, the son of Pivotal darted down the inside between horses to hit the front entering the last furlong and ran on to prevail by three quarters of a length in 1m 47.53s.
Benbatl (Saeed bin Suroor/Oisin Murphy), who raced on the outside of the field throughout after breaking slowly, went from sixth to take up the running briefly over a furlong from home and rallied to regain second by a head Janoobi near the line.
Charlie Appleby said: “We thought that Blair House would run a big race – he was so well in himself and on a roll so we thought that the race might fall into his hands the way it did.
“I must give full credit to Nick who rides him and the team at home, who have a done a great job freshening the horse up. Nick said Blair House felt great going into the race.
“They have gone nice fractions in front and every horse had their chance.
“I told James to ride Blair House for a bit of luck around the inside and everything worked out great.
“It was a great ride by James and I am delighted for him to get a G1 on the board.
“Blair House has gained so much confidence out here. It’s not the first time we have seen a horse come out here for the handicaps and grow in confidence by enjoying themselves.
“He owes us nothing now and deserves to line up in the Dubai Turf (G1, 9f, 31 March).
James Doyle added: “Blair House got half a split and it almost came too soon for me – he burst to the front really well and then had a look at the cameras late on.
“He seems to enjoy being covered up and being taken back behind horses. The way he won his handicap was the same and he loved me having to keep taking him back.
“Blair House has been thriving at home and all his work has been great.
“He looked a million dollars tonight and Charlie felt that it was worth throwing our hat into the ring. It was a great call by him.
“The Dubai Turf will be a much stronger field, but we will enjoy today and look forward to Dubai World Cup Night.”