Big racing hope Emotionless may have lost his unbeaten tag — but it was still a red-letter day for Newmarket trainers at the Dubai Future Champions Festival.
Home handlers provided four of the seven winners on day two on Saturday but it was the non-performance of Emotionless which perhaps produced the biggest surprise of the afternoon.
Charlie Appleby’s stable star failed to live up to his big reputation to finish stone-cold last in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes.
Billed as a two-horse race with Air Force Blue, it was Aiden O’Brien’s Ballydoyle star who destroyed his rivals with his third successive Group One victory.
Emotionless tried to follow Air Force Blue into the race, but the son of Shamardal couldn’t live with the eventual winner with his run quickly coming to a sudden halt.
A disappointed Appleby said: “As we have said all along, he is one for the future and he’s ridden as if he’s a bit weak.
“We will now put him away, as we always intended to do, and let him furnish over the winter and see where we are in the spring.
“He’s a big-framed horse and hopefully he will strengthen into that frame over the winter.
“Whether he is a Classic horse, I am not bold enough to say that, but he is a horse that we hold in high regard.”
There was some small consolation for Appleby though with Mistrusting taking the honours in the Boadicea Fillies’ stakes later in the afternoon.
There was also home delight in the opening race when Mix And Mingle scorched to victory in the Dubai EBF Fillies’Nursey Handicap
Ridden by Ted Durcan, Chris Wall’s two-year-old followed up her maiden win at Lingfield last time out in fine style.
After the race, Wall earmarked the Sandringham race at Royal Ascot as a possible target for next season.
A delighted Wall said: “We will put her away for next year but something like the Sandringham might be for her as she is a filly who goes well in the summer.
“We wondered whether we should run her in the Oh So Sharp Stakes but thought we would run here as she might need the experience.
“We knew she was a good filly and that was nice.”
Gifted Master made all under William Buick to land the Group Three Vision Autumn Stakes.
Hugo Palmer’s charge followed up his £500,000 Tattersalls Millions two-year-old Trophy success last week by leading from start to finish on his first race in pattern company.
Glamorous Approach led home an Irish-trained one-two when victorious by a length-and-a-quarter in the Listed Dubai Zetland Stakes.
Grumeti foiled a huge plunge on Oriental Fox as he edged a thrilling photo-finish to the Betfred Cesarewitch.
With Quick Jack finishing third and Renneti fourth, there were no Newmarket handlers in the top four of the gruelling two-mile-and-two-furlong test.
The final race of the afternoon saw 40/1 outsider Energia Davos, trained at racing headquarters by Jane Chapple-Hyam, take the honours in the Darley Stakes.
Friday’s action saw First Victory turn in an impressive display to land the Vision Oh So Sharp Stakes.
The Godolphin filly travelled strongly from the start with William Buick leading her to victory.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Mustard was too hot to handle in the Vision Old Rowley Cup Handicap, while Materialistic, under Adam Kirby, lifted the recent gloom for the Luca Cumani stable by claiming the Vision Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.
There was a third Newmarket success on the opening afternoon with Chain of Daises holding off hot favourite Crystal Zvezda in the Dubai Pride Stakes.
Earlier, the Dubai Fillies’ Mile was won by Aiden O’Brien’s Minding, who ran her rivals ragged to complete a big-race double for the Ballydoyle chief.
The Jockey Club said the Newmarket racecourse welcomed 19,770 visitors through its gates for the two-day festival.
* For more pictures and reaction, see Thursday’s Newmarket Journal print edition.