Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby hopes to have unbeaten Group One winner Quorto back from his setback in time for an autumn campaign.
The Dubawi colt has been out of action so far this year after sustaining a soft-tissue injury in March during his build-up to the 2000 Guineas at a winter training camp in Dubai.
After backing up his debut victory over Newmarket’s July Course at the same track in the Group Two Superlative Stakes, Quorto ended his juvenile campaign by defeating subsequent Epsom Derby hero Anthony Van Dyck on his first start at the top level in the Curragh’s National Stakes in September.
Appleby reports Quorto, as with last year’s Derby winner Masar who recently returned to the track at Royal Ascot after injury, is being brought back to full fitness steadily.
The Newmarket trainer said: “He has gone through a similar programme to what Masar did – but hopefully he won’t take as long as Masar did.
“He started the recovery early in his three-year-old career, and the plan will be to try and get him out late summer.”
Appleby is optimistic that all is currently going to plan for a return this season.
“If we can keep meeting the targets we are meeting at the moment then there is a live chance of that happening,” he said.
“Goodwood would be too soon. I’d say we would be looking at late summer (or) early autumn for him. If we can get a run or two into him as a three-year-old that would be great.”
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Last year’s Derby hero Masar will continue his comeback in next month’s Princess of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket.
Charlie Appleby’s colt had his first run for more than a year in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday.
Not everything went to plan as he stumbled coming out of the stalls – which resulted in a hefty bang from the Czech raider Nagano Gold, who went on to finish second.
The incident lit Masar up, meaning he over-raced in the first half of the race – and after briefly threatening in the straight, he tired to finish fifth.
“Masar has pulled up well this morning. He’s been fully vetted, and everyone is happy with him,” said Godolphin trainer Appleby.
“The plan with Masar now is to make our way to the Princess of Wales’s at Newmarket’s July meeting.”
Appleby did enjoy a double on the card – with the now retired Blue Point winning the Diamond Jubilee, his second success of the week, and Pinatubo smashing the juvenile track record in the Chesham Stakes.
“With regards to Pinatubo, he’s come out of his race very well and will head to the Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood,” said the Newmarket trainer.
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Blue Point has been retired after his incredible Royal Ascot sprint double last week.
The five-year-old became the first horse since Choisir in 2003 to win the King’s Stand Stakes over five furlongs on Tuesday before following up over a furlong further in Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee.
Blue Point bows out with four Group One wins to his credit and trainer Charlie Appleby has paid tribute to his star sprinter.
“He pulled up well from the weekend and after discussions with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, we came to the conclusion that he owes us all nothing,” said Appleby.
“He’s given us some wonderful times, with the highlight being last week’s King’s Stand-Diamond Jubilee double.
“Even from his two-year-old days, winning the Gimcrack and being placed in multiple Group Ones, to winning the King’s Stand last year and then winning three Group Ones this year – he’s been top-class.
“He’s a horse very close to my heart, being there from the start, and it’s not often you get horses who impress you so much in a morning that do the same in the afternoon, but he’s never let us down. He’s been a true champion.
“I’d like to personally thank His Highness Sheikh Mohammed for allowing us to train him in the first place and place him as we have. He has been very much involved in the decisions and the plan for last week.
“We just felt Ascot has been his most fond place to race, his record speaks for itself and to go out like this is very appropriate – to retire on a high.
“It’s very rare for a horse to show such form at two and win Group Ones at five, and that is all credit to the horse.
“I’d just like to personally thank all my team who have been involved with him down the years, he’ll be sorely missed.
“I’m sure he’ll emulate his father (Shamardal) and be a very successful stallion.”
Blue Point retires having won 11 of his 20 races and over £2.5 million in prize money.
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