Wuheida claimed Group 1 honours on only her second career start
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Mark Scully 1:15PM 2 OCT 2016
Report: Chantilly, Sunday
Total Prix Marcel Boussac – Criterium des Pouliches (Group 1) 1m, 2yo fillies
WUHEIDA made the considerable jump from a maiden victory to Group 1 honours look effortless as she landed the opening race on Arc day on only her second career start.
Trainer Charlie Appleby pitched the daughter Dubawi in at the deep end in the Prix Marcel Boussac but the Dubawi filly showed she was more than up to the task.
Rousted up to be prominent by jockey William Buick, Wuheida overhauled the long-time leader and eventual third Dabyah in the home straight and had enough left to hold the late challenge of runner-up Promise To Be True and fourth-placed Senga.
“It’s great for Godolphin and the team,” said Appleby. “She’s a homebred as well, so that’s really exciting for the boss and Dubawi’s first Group 1 winner as a two-year-old too, so that’s a nice feather in the cap.”
‘We were always going to be positive’
Last year’s Arc-winning tandem of John Gosden and Frankie Dettori momentarily looked like pinching the race courtesy of an enterprising front-running effort with Dabyah.
Dettori looked to steal a march on his rivals upon straightening but Buick was wise to the move and his filly’s stamina won the day.
“The team have done a great job and it was a fantastic ride by William,” said Appleby. “We knew Frankie would go off on the front end and try to dictate it, so we were always going to try and be positive.
“She’s a filly we knew would appreciate stepping up from seven furlongs and she’s a filly with a bright future stepping up even further next year.”
Dabyah was unable to hold-on to second as the Aidan O’Brien-trained Promise To Be True made late ground to claim that spot, three-quarters of a length behind the winner, with Senga also catching the eye in fourth.
Oaks dreams kindled
The victory was Charlie Appleby’s second Group 1 of the campaign, following Hawkbill’s Coral-Eclipse success, and the trainer has his eyes on Classic honours with Wuheida next year.
“I don’t think we’ll see her again this year,” he said. “For me, she was one of the stand-outs in the paddock in terms of a filly going forward to a three-year-old career.
“She’s a lovely, big, scopey filly and one we’ve always had our eye on as maybe being an Oaks filly.”
William Hill responded by installing the filly as their 12-1 favourite for the Epsom showpiece, while she is also their 8-1 favourite for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier in the year, ahead of Dabyah at 12-1.