SHEIKH MOHAMMED’S Godolphin operation are back in business at Group One level after the 22-1 outsider Charming Thought upset the odds to land the vision.ae Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket for the ‘boys in blue’.
William Buick had to be at his strongest to deny the hot favourite and previously unbeaten Ivawood to provide Godolphin with a landmark success – and a first win at the highest level for trainer Charlie Appleby.
It has been a bitter-sweet victory for Godolphin and Appleby after 2012 Ladbrokes St Leger hero Encke was put down after suffering a serious injury on the gallops on Tuesday.
Both Charming Thought and Ivawood enjoyed a terrific tussle to the line in this six-furlong race and it took a photo-finish to separate the pair. York’s Gimcrack Stakes winner Muhaarar was a clear third.
“All along I was sure I’d won,” said Buick. “There were two great horses battling out the finish. This horse has done nothing but improve. There’s plenty to look forward to next year.”
Charming Thought only ran after being supplemented last weekend on the say-so of Sheikh Mohammed.
Appleby said: “It’s great to get my first Group One in England out of the way. It was the last roll of the dice for us. He’s a horse we’ve held in high regard from the Spring onwards. He just met with a setback in the Spring, so we had to be patient with him and it’s prevailed now. William said on better ground you’ll see a better horse and he’ll probably stay a mile.”
The father-son combination of Aidan and Joseph O’Brien teamed up to land the Dubai Fillies’ Mile with the teak-tough Together Forever just five days after the daughter of Galileo won at the Curragh.
Earlier, Royal Razalma claimed victory in the Dubai Cornwallis Stakes for jockey Richard Kingscote who is flying to Canada to ride Michael Owen’s Brown Panther in tomorrow’s Woodbine International.