BIg Week Ahead For Charlie Appleby

Dubai Sheema Classic winner star Old Persian will take his place among the world's best middle-distance grass horses when he lines up in the $4 million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita in California this weekend.

OLD PERSIAN  Picture: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)

Owned by Godolphin and trained by Charlie Appleby, the son of Dubawi will carry Dubai carnival form when he takes on the likes of Investec Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck, Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational winner Bricks And Mortar and Turf Classic winner Arklow.

The nine-time winner from 16 starts got his first feel of Santa Anita on Tuesday, galloping around the dirt oval in preparation for his 2400m turf assignment.

With Appleby looking on, the earner of $4,349,231 turned some heads as he extended beautifully while taking in his surroundings.

"We know he's here with a live shot and we know he stays well," Appleby said. "He shipped in well and I'm delighted with the way he's moving around.

"The great thing about him is he has experience travelling and doing his track work. It's second nature to him."

If the multiple G1 winner is successful he will have won at four of the most prestigious meetings in the world - the Breeders' Cup, Dubai World Cup, Royal Ascot and Yorkshire Ebor.

In 2018, the English-bred 4YO was a rousing victor over Melbourne Cup runner Rostropovich in the G2 King Edward VII Stakes at Ascot.

Two months later he defeated stablemate and subsequent Melbourne Cup and Dubai Gold Cup winner Cross Counter in the G2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.

Since his popular victory in the $6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic over Japanese G1 winners Cheval Grand, Suave Richard and Rey de Oro in March things took a slight dip when he failed to fire in the G1 Coronation Cup at Epsom on May 31, finishing seventh.

Given some rest he returned on August 11 at Hoppegarten in Germany, where he finished a game third by a length to French King in the G1 Grosser Preis von Berlin.

Shipped across the Atlantic he sprang back to form in Woodbine's G1 Northern Dancer in Canada, defeating an overmatched field when racing in his fifth different country and third separate continent.

"Our plan was always to work back from the Breeders' Cup Turf," Appleby said "Our plan was always to have a crack at the Northern Dancer en route to here.

"He came out of the Northern Dancer really well, so we did not want to race him again."

"He's alert and he's enjoying himself. He's taking it all in - seeing that, I feel confident as well."

Appleby has a big week ahead with Cross Counter defending his crown in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington next Tuesday.

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