Charlie Appleby is looking forward to seeing Quorto test his Classic credentials in the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh.
The Godolphin runner faces six rivals in this seven-furlong Group One, including the Aidan O’Brien-trained Tyros and Futurity Stakes winner Anthony Van Dyck.
Having made a huge impression in winning his first two starts at Newmarket, including a dominant display in the Superlative Stakes, Quorto is a best priced 16-1 for the Guineas next May and Appleby hopes he can enhance his claims on Sunday.
“He’s had a nice break since the Superlative and his preparation has gone very well,” said the Newmarket handler.
“It’s time for us to step him up now and I think the Guineas picture will be a lot clearer after this weekend.
“We said after Newmarket we’d aim for the Curragh. We also had the option of the Champagne Stakes if it looked like coming up very soft in Ireland, but it looks like it will be no worse than good to soft and that should be fine.
“He has an action that suggests he’ll actually appreciate ground on the easy side of good, although obviously you couldn’t fault what he’s done on fast ground so far.
“Until we put the gun to his head, so to speak, we won’t know for sure, but as long as it doesn’t go very soft, I think he’ll handle it.”
Anthony Van Dyck, who is also a 16-1 shot for next season’s Rowley Mile Classic, is one of four runners for O’Brien along with Christmas, Land Force and Mohawk.
He said: “Anthony Van Dyck is in good form. We were delighted with him the last day and he seems to have come out of the race well.
“He’s a lazy type of horse. He has the experience now with four runs under his belt and we can finish up after this or he can step up.”
Fozzy Stack’s pair of Highland Fortune and Wargrave complete the seven-strong field.
The juvenile fillies get their chance to shine in the preceding Moyglare Stud Stakes.
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Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby has confirmed that Loxley will join Old Persian in the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday.
Old Persian booked his ticket for the final Classic of the season when winning the Great Voltigeur at York.
Loxley finished second in the Bahrain Trophy in July but since then has won twice in France impressively and had been under consideration for the Prix Niel this weekend but will instead stay closer to home.
Having already won the Derby with Masar this season, the 43-year-old is aiming for a notable double.
Appleby is currently at the sales in Keeneland but confirmed to www.godolphin.com: “We have decided to run two in the Leger – Old Persian will be ridden by William Buick, while James Doyle will be on Loxley.”
Godolphin‘s Royal Ascot winner Blue Point has been ruled out of Sunday’s Derrinstown Stud Flying Five at the Curragh due to a dirty scope.
Charlie Appleby’s speedster finished third in the Nunthorpe last time out and was being prepared for the new Group One.
However, his attentions will now be switched to Ascot’s Champions Day instead.
Appleby told www.godolphin.com: “He scoped dirty, which is unfortunate, but we look ahead now to British Champions Day at Ascot (on October 20), where he has an entry in the Group One Sprint, over six furlongs.”
While Blue Point misses out, there are still 12 horses in contention for the prize, including four for Aidan O’Brien in Battle Of Jericho, Sioux Nation, St Patrick’s Day and Different League.
Darren Bunyan’s Hit The Bid is also in the mix along with fellow home-trained hopes in Gorane, Now You’re Talking and Son Of Rest.
Four British-trained entries make up the field, with Karl Burke’s Havana Grey having landed the Sapphire Stakes over the course and distance back in July.
Ben Curtis had been booked to ride, but he picked up an injury last week.
Burke said: “Havana Grey runs in the Flying Five Stakes on Sunday at the Curragh. Richie Kingscote rides him and he is in great shape and he is adaptable ground-wise.
“He has won at the Curragh this year and he is a very fast horse and I’m really looking forward to running him.”
Caspian Prince was second that day and is in the line up again with Julie Camacho’s Judicial and David Griffiths’ popular veteran Take Cover.