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Doyle, Appleby and Godolphin lead Carnival standings

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DUBAI: At the halfway point of the 2018-2019 Dubai World Cup Carnival, the jockey, trainer and owner standings are led by James Doyle, Charlie Appleby and Godolphin. While many of the top connections and horsemen are the proverbial usual suspects, they are closely followed by several who speak to the depth of this season’s Carnival.

James Doyle is leading the jockey’s championship with five winners, including two Group 2 races for Charlie Appleby. He has already equalled his total tally for 2018. Connor Beasley is showing a tremendous run of form in only his second season riding in Dubai, currently in second place with four Carnival winners and an impressive strike rate of 22%. Christophe Soumillon, Christopher Hayes and Richard Mullen all boast three winners a piece. Notably Soumillon, no stranger to Carnival success, has finished in the money (top three) in 55% of his races.

Twelve jockeys have ridden one Carnival winner so far in 2019, including Brett Doyle, who has shown consistency with four of his ten rides finishing in the first three.

Team Godolphin’s Appleby heads up the trainer rankings with seven Carnival victories, headlined by the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort victor D’bai and Group 2 Cape Verdi winner Poetic Charm, over fellow Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor’s four.

Local trainers Ahmad bin Harmash and Satish Seemar follow closely with three Carnival wins to their names. Of those with 10 runners or more, Satish Seemar’s 27% strike rate outperforms Ahmad bin Harmash’s 20% and Charlie Appleby’s 19%. Sandeep Jadhav has sent out a pair of winners, joining the other two local trainers with four or more placings.

Reigning UAE champion trainer Doug Watson has captured a sole Carnival race, courtesy of Al Shindagha Sprint (G3) winner Drafted, while finishing second and third five times each.

Godolphin’s 11 Carnival wins places them well ahead of local owner Sultan Ali, whose two wins are tied with Phoenix Ladies Syndicate.

The Phoenix Ladies Syndicate is new to the Carnival scene and has successfully partnered with Ahmad bin Harmash in sending out two 3-year-old winners from three runners, highlighted by the unbeaten Violence colt Walking Thunder taking the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial by nine lengths. Their other winner is Golden Jaguar, who went two lengths clear to capture the 1400m Meydan Classic Trial last Thursday.

Thus far, 32 races have been contested and 33 remain in the Carnival, including the seven-race $2.65 million Super Saturday card on Mar. 9. Sport Desk

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