More Than Ready import Boynton (USA) has kicked off his Godolphin Mile Gr.1 campaign with a front-running victory against some quality opposition in the Mina Rashid (1600m) at Meydan.
Having his first start in Dubai since an unplaced effort in the Churchill Stakes LR at Lingfield in November, the Godolphin galloper turned back well-regarded colt Kimbear to score by more than two lengths on Thursday evening.
Boynton had been gelded before arriving in the Gulf and he was also racing on a dirt surface for the first time. “He broke a fraction slowly, but once into his stride, we were always going strongly and he was able to get a bit of a breather,” jockey William Buick said. “When I asked him to go again, he responded very well and that was a good performance.
“The whole team have always held this horse in the highest regard and he has been training very well at home.”
The Firebreak Stakes Gr.3 on February 17 is the next step towards the $1 million Godolphin Mile Gr.1 on March 31.
Sheikh Mohammed bought the son of Vinery legend More Than Ready for $750,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September yearling sale. His dam Baffled (Distorted Humor) has also foaled Florida Derby Gr.1 winner Constitution and Tempted Stakes Gr.2 winner Jacaranda.
Boynton had won a Goodwood nursery on debut in June 2016 and trainer Charlie Appleby stepped him straight up in grade to take the Superlative Stakes Gr.2 at Newmarket.
The Mina Rashid is his first win since then in a career that has totalled just 7 starts. “It is nice to see him get his head back in front,” Appleby said at Meydan. “I think gelding him has really helped and he’s best suited to a fast-run 1600m.”
More Than Ready’s Australian expat Eagle Way is also heading for a Group 1 in Hong Kong for trainer John Moore. He will be one of the favourites for the Centenary Vase Gr.3 at Sha Tin this Sunday in the lead-up to the Hong Kong Gold Cup Gr.1 on February 25.