Appleby Seeks 1-2 In Balanchine With Magic Lily and Divine Image
Gr.2 Cape Verdi winner-Magic Lily make just her sixth career start and seek her third victory as the expected favourite in the US$250,000 Balanchine.
Godolphin’s well-bred 5yo Charlie Appleby-trained mare, returned to racing after a 721-day layoff. The daughter of champion New Approach out of English Oaks winner Dancing Rain finished a commendable third to six-time Gr.1 winner Laurens in Newmarket’s Fillies’ Mile.
Her toughest foe may come in the form of stablemate Divine Image, who makes her first start of the year. A 4yo daughter of the late Scat Daddy, she was an impressive winner on the dirt last year in the UAE Oaks before manhandling the boys in the Al Bastakiya. A disappointing 13th as the favourite in the rich UAE Derby three weeks later, she was last seen finishing unplaced in French Gr.2 company over the summer but has reportedly enjoyed being back in the UAE.
On Thursday, the chestnut mare will make just her sixth career start and seek her third victory as the expected favourite in the $250,000 Balanchine Gr.2. The race will provide her with a much-needed furlong more of real estate, as she tries the 1800m trip over the Dubai oval.
In an eight-horse field that also includes Cape Verdi runner-up, Nisreen and multiple Turkish Gr.1 winner Peri Lina, fourth in the same 1600m contest, Magic Lily and Divine Image drew posts two and five, respectively. William Buick will ride Magic Lily, while James Doyle will be aboard Divine Image.