Ghaiyyath, officially the world’s best horse on ratings, ticked all the right boxes during his final gallop ahead of Saturday’s Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, where he will bid to win a fourth Group 1 of the season.
The five-year-old son of Dubawi delivered an effortless gallop where he, “went through the gears” at Moulton Paddocks early Wednesday morning.
“It was a routine piece of work to check his well-being, and he has come through it without a worry,” Appleby told the Godolphin website.
“It was not strong work, more a breeze, which is normal procedure three days before a race. He’s telling us that he’s ready now for another big race.
“We are really looking forward to the weekend. He travels to Ireland at the peak of his career, unbeaten in four starts this year, three of them G1s, two of which were officially rated the best performances globally in 2020,” he added.
“He’s now a five-year-old, and by any standards, he is lightly raced. He has run only 12 times, winning nine and placing twice. This is his fourth season in training, and I believe what we are now seeing is an outstanding racehorse at the top of his game.
“This is a wonderful Godolphin story. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed (Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai) has followed the progress of Ghaiyyath very closely from the time he was purchased as a foal five years ago and it is pleasing to see a descendant of Godolphin greats Dubai Millennium and Dubawi also making his mark at the highest level.”
Appleby also highlighted the role played by Ghaiyyath’s regular rider, William Buick.
“William knows him so well, they are a great combination,” he said. “He’s ridden him in all bar two of his runs, and he loves the horse. Like all of us, William has always held him in the highest regard.
“Last year, after Ghaiyyath won the G1 in Germany (Grosser Preis Von Baden) by 14 lengths, it is well-documented that William said: ‘He’s a monster.’
“When you publicly make such a statement, there is clearly huge confidence attached, which I think is very evident in the way he rides the horse. It is also fact that the confidence horse and rider have in each other has grown with every run this year,” the trainer pointed out.
Godolphin will be seeking a sixth win in the Irish Champion Stakes and the first since Grandera carried the royal blue silks to victory in 2002.
It was in the Irish Champion Stakes in 2001 the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Fantastic Light lowered the colours of Galileo in a race that is still talked about as a tactical masterpiece by Frankie Dettori.
While Ghaiyyath will take on the best Irish contenders this weekend Appleby’s Barney Roy, an original entry for the Irish Champion Stakes, will head to Germany to contest Sunday’s G1 Grosser Preis Von Baden at Iffezheim racecourse, Baden Baden.