first time UAE starter Space Blues and blue-blooded Ya Hayati, among others. Group 1 winner Barney Roy is one of 13 runners to declare for Super Saturday's Group 1 $400,000 Jebel Hatta over 1800m on the turf and exits a strong win in the course and distance Al Rashidiya (G2) on Jan. 30. The bay charge breaks from post 12 as the expected favourite in the final local $6 million Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World (G1) prep.
"Barney Roy went into his last race fresh and well and was entitled to come forward a good bit and has done so," Appleby said. "He takes very little training, as you see he's a lightly framed horse. His homework has pleased us and goes into Super Saturday's Jebel Hatta in good order. He's drawn out a little bit, but he's the class horse in the race, so hopefully we can overcome that."
Making his UAE debut in the Group 3 $350,000 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint over 1200m is Space Blues, a 4-year-old colt Dubawi colt who is multiple Group 1-placed in France, including top efforts against the likes of champion Too Darn Hot and multiple Group 1 winner Advertise. Being that he has defeated Group 1 winners One Master, Pretty Pollyanna and Polydream, the well-intended type is an expected favourite on Saturday, despite dropping back once again in trip.
"Space Blues has good, solid form over seven (furlongs) back in Europe," Appleby explained. "A typical Dubawi, he's just got stronger through the winter from three to four and it's always just been in the back of my mind to dip our toe into the sprinting scene with him. We've always felt he has natural pace, but as he's gotten stronger, he's been getting quicker. His homework has been very good and he's looked sharp. I'll be disappointed if he's not a player this weekend. In the end, he needs to be winning this to book himself a ticket to World Cup night for the ($2 million) Al Quoz (Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments). We're hopeful that we can be bang-there. It's interesting in dropping back to the six, but all evidence is encouraging us to take a go at it, for sure."
Ya Hayati will make his second start of the DWC Carnival in the $300,000 Al Bastakiya (Listed) over 1900m on dirt. By champion sire Dubawi out of multiple dirt Grade 1 winner Wedding Toast, the blueblood makes his dirt debut after impressively landing last month's Meydan Trophy over this distance on turf. There was talk of him going to Saudi Arabia for the Saudi Derby, but the high-spirited colt was rerouted to this race in the hopes of getting into the $2.5 million UAE Derby sponsored by Emirates NBD (G2).
"We skipped the Saudi trip with Ya Hayati thinking that he didn't quite have the experience to go travelling on a short rest and dropping back to a mile," Appleby said. "We just felt it would come up a bit too quick for him. His work at home on the dirt has been good. We've given him as much experience as we could at home with kickback. Unfortunately, he's got a very wide draw in 14, which will make life a little challenging for him there. As you know, I managed to get a Derby winner (Masar in 2018) around there beaten, so we're hoping history doesn't repeat itself. On the flipside, he's a nice horse in good order. The draw is really the biggest concern."
Ya Hayati kicks off the stellar seven-race card for Appleby in the Al Bastakiya (Race 1), followed by Space Blues and Tribal Quest in the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint (Race 3), Spotify, Magic Lily and Barney Roy in the Jebel Hatta (Race 5) and Jalmoud and Loxley in the Group 2 $350,000 Dubai City of Gold (Race 7).