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Britain beckons for Goldophin’s upcoming stars

Dubai: The British racing season has long been of special interest to Dubai’s Godolphin stable, and some of their upcoming stars can now look forward to challenging for the country’s top races following heartening performances at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday night.

The largely unexposed Cat O’Mountain, who has recorded four of his five wins on the all-weather track at Kempton, ran an absolute blinder to take third place in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1).

Ridden by 2012 Dubai World Cup-winning jockey Mickael Barzalona, the son of 2002 victor Street Cry overcame a bad draw in gate 15 to finish a commendable seven lengths behind the winner African Story.

It is likely that he will be targeting top middle-distance races such as the Prince of Wales’s (G1), Eclipse Stakes (G1) and Champion Stakes (G1) upon his return to trainer Charlie Appleby’s Moulton Paddocks Stables in Newmarket next month.

“I was delighted with the run of Cat O’Mountain,” said Appleby. “Unfortunately, we were drawn where we were but Mickael gave him the best spin around

“Mickael got him into as good a racing position as was possible from that draw.”

This was a career-best run for Cat O’Mountain and Barzalona, who has ridden the horse to victory on four occasions, said: “Cat O’Mountain ran a fabulous race, considering where he had to come from.

“He was nice and relaxed the whole way around and picked up well to take third. I think he could have finished closer with a better draw.”

The King’s Stand Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot (June 17) is the intended target for Ahtoug, who was only beaten by a quarter-of-a-length by Hong Kong speedster Amber Sky in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint on Saturday.

“He has gone from strength to strength in Dubai and has proved today that he can compete at the top level and that was a career-best performance,” said Appleby.

“We will put him away now and take him back to England. We will perhaps aim him towards the King’s Stand Stakes — he has won at that course before and likes the five furlongs there. Hopefully we will have a bit of fun with him during the summer.”