Prix d'Ispahan next target for Godolphin star Barney Roy

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Godolphin star Barney Roy could continue to revive his racing career in the Prix d’Ispahan at ParisLongchamp on May 26 before trying to claim a second success at Royal Ascot.

The Excelebration gelding – who returned to racing after proving to be infertile at stud – found only one too good on his debut for Charlie Appleby in a Listed race at the Berkshire track, where he claimed victory in the 2017 St James’s Palace Stakes, earlier this month.

Appleby said: “I felt like Barney ticked a lot of boxes. He showed his enthusiasm and his courage when he got into a battle. Thankfully he has come out of the race well and we will look forward to hopefully a nice summer with him.

“We are going to make an entry in the d’Ispahan with him, but Ascot in all probability will be his next port of call.

“There is time though to run in France and then at Ascot. We will make the entry for him and have a look at see.”

Having been denied a Group One hat-trick on her final start of 2018 in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, stablemate Wild Illusion looks set to make her comeback in the Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh (June 28).

He added: “I will give Wild Illusion an entry in the d’Ispahan, but the Pretty Polly looks a more realistic starting point.

“Then we can look at the Romanet afterwards and take the rest of the season from there.”

Old Persian could be seen out sooner than expected, with Appleby not ruling out supplementing this year’s Sheema Classic hero for the Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom.

Appleby said: “Old Persian has travelled back from Dubai now. He is a horse that I’m far from saying could be supplemented, but he has the profile and if the race was breaking down it could be looked at.

“It is not out of the question, but it is not to the fore at the moment. He has just had his first canter up the short Polytrack.”

Mythical Magic is being lined up for a return to Group One level on his first start in Britain since October 2017, with Appleby intending to run the son of Iffraaj in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday week.

He said: “He ran well in the Al Fahidi, then he went and won the Zabeel Mile and this will be his first run since then.

“I was hoping to race in Australia with him, but we didn’t get an invitation, so we are going to head to the Lockinge. He is a horse that is progressing.”

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Appleby believes Ghaiyyath will be seen to better effect at Royal Ascot

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Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby believes Ghaiyyath will be seen to better effect when stepped up in trip in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Newmarket handler has earmarked the mile and a half Group Two prize as the next target for the lightly raced four-year-old following his odds-on defeat in the Prix Ganay at ParisLongchamp last Sunday.

After cutting out much of the running, the Dubawi colt weakened into third place in France – and Appleby feels his charge now requires a stiffer test of stamina.

Appleby said: “Ghaiyyath put up a good performance on Sunday to finish third, but we have always felt that this horse will be at his best over a mile and a half.

“He was beaten by two Group One winners and the plan with him will now be to freshen him up and head for the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot.

“He is still an inexperienced horse and that was only the sixth run of his career – he is entitled to learn a bit more again.

“He stepped into battle and didn’t shy away from it and he stuck to his guns well and he gives me the impression going forward a mile and a half will be his optimum trip.”

A change of plan will see Lincoln winner Auxerre head for Windsor on Monday week.

Appleby added: “We’ve had no hold ups with him and we were going to go to Ascot for the Paradise Stakes, but we decided to go there with Barney Roy.

“We didn’t want two decent horses banging their heads together, so we are going to Windsor instead.

“We were never going to jump into a Group race with him as we wanted take in a Listed race and take our time with him – we felt that was the right progression for the horse.”

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Godolphin's Barney Roy back for Ascot's Paradise Stakes

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Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby hopes Group One winner Barney Roy can show he retains all of his old ability when he contests Wednesday’s Ascot Shop Paradise Stakes.

The son of Excelebration, who claimed the 2017 St James’s Palace Stakes at the track when trained by Richard Hannon, will be making his first start since returning to training after proving to be infertile at stud when he lines up in the mile Listed contest.

Despite not being seen on a since on a racecourse in more than 18 months, the five-year-old, who has been gelded ahead of his return to racing, is reported to have been working well.

Appleby said: “He was a very talented three-year-old, who unfortunately got an injury at the end of his three-year-old career and then proved to be infertile at stud.

“He has been with us for the last couple of months and has pleased us with everything we have asked him to do. He shows all the enthusiasm you like to see in a racehorse.

“At home he shows he retains good ability, but the only way we’ll tell is on the racetrack and that will be the acid test.

“From what we have experienced, he is quite an easy horse to get fit and he is quite athletic. I’m not going there saying he will need the run as he will be fit enough to run well, he might just be a bit ring rusty. From a fitness side, he is ready to go.

“We had thought about going to Windsor in a couple of weeks, but he has come to hand quicker than we expected.”

The Newmarket handler will also be represented in the race by First Contact, who will be dropping back in trip after running over nine furlongs on his two previous starts.

Appleby added: “First Contact is in there on his own merit as he is rated 109. We felt that, even before deciding to run Barney Roy, dropping back to a mile for this race would be ideal for him.

“He will be up there on the front end to ensure there is a good pace, but that is his running style.”

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