Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby expects Masar to prove tough to beat at Newmarket

Press Association Sport 14:20 10/07/2019
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Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby expects last year’s Derby winner Masar to prove tough to beat if bringing his A game to the table in the Princess of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.

The son of New Approach finished fifth on his first start since triumphing in the Epsom Classic when making his eagerly anticipated return to action in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

With that run his belt the Newmarket handler feels that Masar will take plenty of stopping in the mile and a half Group Two contest he won back in 2017 with Hawkbill.

Appleby said: “He has definitely come forward for his run at Ascot. As we all know at Ascot he didn’t make the tidiest of starts and he was never in the position we would have liked to see him in.

“He came into the race really well but he just got a bit tired and he had nice blow afterwards.

“He was as fit as we could get him without getting a run in but that run has definitely brought him forward and his preparation has gone well from Ascot to the Princess of Wales’s and he will be better with that run under his belt.

“He is moving well and his fitness is good. He is clear on ratings and if the Masar we are seeing at home turns up then they have him all to beat.”

Masar’s first run back in more than a year may have ended in defeat but it provided plenty of encouragement for Appleby that his stable star still retains all of his old ability.

He added: “When you are preparing a horse off a long lay off that has been running over a mile and a half at the top level you can get them fit to a level at home but a race just puts the edge on them.

“It was good to get him back and get his racing brain engaged. He showed all the right signs that his encouragement for the game was there.

“We feel this is a nice opportunity to get his head back in front and then hopefully afterwards we can start looking at an autumn campaign.”

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Godolphin's Masar set to take on five in Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket

Press Association Sport 14:31 09/07/2019
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Last year’s Investec Derby hero Masar will face five rivals in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.

The New Approach colt became the first horse to carry the royal blue silks of Godolphin to victory in the premier Classic at Epsom last season, but a leg injury kept him off the track for the remainder of the campaign.

Charlie Appleby’s charge made his long-awaited return to action in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and was far from disgraced in finishing fifth.

Masar is likely to be a hot favourite to rediscover the winning trail almost three weeks later – despite having a shade over three lengths to find with Sir Michael Stoute’s Hardwicke Stakes third Mirage Dancer.

Mark Johnston saddles Baghdad – a narrow winner of the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at the Royal meeting – as well as Communique.

The Andrew Balding-trained Dashing Willoughby also lines-up on the back of a Royal Ascot victory, having landed the Queen’s Vase.

Desert Encounter from David Simcock’s yard completes the sextet.

The first race on the opening afternoon of Newmarket’s July Festival is the Group Three Bahrain Trophy – a recognised trial for the St Leger.

John Gosden relies on Waldstern to provide him with a record sixth victory in the one-mile-five-furlong contest, while Irish hopes are carried by Aidan O’Brien’s Queen’s Vase runner-up Barbados.

Other hopefuls in a nine-strong field include Michael Bell’s Eagles By Day, Johnston’s Nayef Road and Simcock’s Spanish Mission.

Johnston’s Visinari is the potential star attraction in the Group Two Tattersalls July Stakes.

The son of Dark Angel created a huge impression when making a successful racecourse debut over this course and distance last month and will be well fancied to follow up – with Frankie Dettori taking over in the saddle from Ryan Moore.

The standard is set by Archie Watson’s Guildsman – who was beaten just three-quarters of a length into third in the Coventry Stakes on his latest appearance.

O’Brien’s pair of King Neptune and Royal Lytham, Saeed bin Suroor’s Windsor Castle runner-up Platinum Star and Karl Burke’s Carlisle scorer Classy Moon are also in the mix.

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Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor to step Final Song up but next target undecided

Press Association Sport 13:34 03/07/2019
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Godolphin star Final Song will step up in trip for her next start – but where that will be has still to be decided.

Saeed bin Suroor was in two minds whether to run the filly in the Albany Stakes over six furlongs, but stuck to the minimum distance at the Royal meeting.

She fairly flew home for third behind Raffle Prize, suggesting an extra furlong would be well within her grasp.

Currently Final Song holds Group One engagements in the Phoenix Stakes, the Moyglare and the National Stakes, all in Ireland.

“There’s no plans at the moment. We were pleased with her at Ascot and she came out of the race well,” said Bin Suroor.

“She’s healthy, happy and fresh and we’ll step her up in trip – she needs further.

“She’s a nice filly, I like the way she finished her race and she looks like she’s going to be a nice filly for the future.

“We’ve put her in a few races just to have a look. I want to see her work next time before deciding where she goes.”

Bin Suroor’s Royal Meeting was last seen beating dual Guineas winner Hermosa in France, but has not been in action yet this season, with the end of next month being mooted as a comeback.

“Royal Meeting is back in training and will hopefully run by the end of August. We’ve been planning for the second half of the season,” said Bin Suroor.

“He’s doing good now and he’s going to be a horse for the future, so we’ll look at Group races for him.

“We’ll probably take him out to Dubai. It’s frustrating we haven’t been able to run him, it only seems to happen to the good horses.”

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