Jungle Cat won the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint Sponsored By Arabian Adventures for a second straight year with a dominant display in the six-furlong contest on fast turf at Meydan, UAE, on Super Saturday, 10 March.
The Charlie Appleby-trained six-year-old, victorious over seven furlongs on his seasonal return in the G2 Al Fahidi Fort, showed good early speed in the centre of the course before tacking right to chase the leaders of the large stands’ side group after a furlong and a half as the 16-strong field split into two, with six racing on the far side.
Jungle Cat moved up steadily among his group and went second with more than a quarter-mile remaining.
He quickened strongly under William Buick and took up the running from Ertijaal over a furlong from home.
The Iffraaj horse forged clear and was eased near the line to beat Ertijaal by two and a quarter lengths in a new course record time for six furlongs on turf of 1m 8.24s.
Godolphin runners filled out the placings from third to seventh, with Top Score (Saeed bin Suroor/Oisin Murphy) coming home a short-head behind Ertijaal and Baccarat (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle), closing well in fourth after missing the break, with D’Bai fifth, Silver Line sixth and Steady Pace seventh.
Charlie Appleby said: “Jungle Cat is a seasoned campaigner in Dubai and seems to thrive out here. “We were delighted with his seasonal return in the Al Fahidi Fort and he had been showing his well-being at home since then.
“The race worked out well – they have gone a good, hard gallop and the one thing that Jungle Cat was going to do was finish his race strongly.
“William was confident that, once he got upsides Ertijaal, he was always going to win
“We have often thought that seven furlongs was his trip, but he has now broken the six-furlong track record tonight.
“He will head to the Al Quoz Sprint (G1, 6f, March 31) on Dubai World Cup Night along with Blue Point, who was beaten a head by Ertijaal in the G2 Meydan Sprint earlier on in the Carnival.
“Baccarat gave away too much at the start and you can’t give that amount of ground away in these competitive sprints, while D’bai (5th) ran well and this could be his trip in the future.”