Godolphin’s Ispolini will not come to Sydney for The Championships after racing his way into the Dubai Gold Cup with a Group Three victory at Meydan.
The Charlie Appleby-trained stayer is among entries for the Sydney Cup (3200m) but will instead run in the Gold Cup over the same distance on World Cup night, March 30.
Ridden by Mickael Barzelona in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy (2810m) on Thursday (Friday AEDT), Ispolini came from behind with a stunning finish to beat another Godolphin horse, Red Galileo, by 10-1/2 lengths.
“We had planned for him to go to Australia as well, but he will stay here now for the Dubai Gold Cup.,” Appleby said.
“We knew that stepping up in trip was going to open up doors for him and we felt he was going the right way based on his first couple of runs out here.”
Appleby trained Polarisation to win the 2017 Sydney Cup and Cross Counter to win last year’s Melbourne Cup.
The other stakes race on the Meydan program, the Listed Curlin Handicap (2000m) was won by South Korea’s Dolkong for ex-pat Australian trainer Simon Foster and French jockey Olivier Doleuze.
Owned by Lee Tae In. Dolkong won the 2000m-race by 9-1/2 lengths and will also race on World Cup night.