German return in the mix for Godolphin's Old Persian

Press Association Sport 14:40 12/08/2019
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Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby is considering a return to Germany for Old Persian after he finished a close up third in Sunday’s Grosser Preis von Berlin at Hoppegarten.

Winner of the Sheema Classic in Dubai, Old Persian was having his first outing since disappointing in the Coronation Cup at Epsom.

Sent off favourite, Old Persian was beaten a length and a short-head by French King and Mark Johnston’s Communique.

“A bit more pace in the race would definitely have helped Old Persian,” said Appleby.

“He has run steadily and travelled well into the race, but just got found out for a bit of toe at the finish.

“However, it was his first run for a couple of months and it was a nice performance. We could come back to Germany with him next month (Grosser Preis von Baden) and he is a nice horse going into the autumn.”

Stablemate Line Of Duty filled the same spot in Deauville’s Prix Jacques le Marois behind Ken Condon’s Romanised.

The Breeders’ Cup winner ran his best race of the season after disappointing in the Dante and the Derby.

“I was delighted with Line Of Duty and we are back on track with him,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com.

“Prior to this he had showed very good form over a mile, most notably when winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. This was his first start back at a mile this year and he has put up another solid performance.

“We will look at keeping at around a mile for the moment. More importantly, some cut in the ground will hopefully see a bit more improvement from him.”

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Charlie Appleby targeting Royal Lodge with unbeaten Al Dabaran

Press Association Sport 13:00 08/08/2019
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Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby has earmarked the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket as a potential target later in the season for the unbeaten Al Dabaran.

The Newmarket handler feels the mile Group Two contest on September 28 is the type of test that will play to the strengths of the Dubawi colt.

Al Dabaran backed up his winning debut on the July course in June when taking a step up in class in his stride with victory in a Listed event at Ascot last month.

Appleby said: “We are probably looking at something like the Royal Lodge for Al Dabaran, as that sort of test will suit him.

“He did well to win at Ascot as the seven furlongs would have been on the short side for him. These mile events in the autumn will be his gig.

“He has come out of the last race well.”

Initially intending to bide his time with Al Dabaran following his debut victory, Appleby felt it was worth rolling the dice again at Ascot after being impressed with his work at home.

He added: “We sat on the fence after his first run at Newmarket and I didn’t want to make any bold decisions where he was going.

“He came out of that so well and at the entry stage of the Ascot race it looked like he would be competitive in it from what we saw at home.

“I’m not saying it surprised us, as he is doing well, but hopefully there will be more improvement further down the line with time and the step up in trip.”

Appleby feels the Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes at York later this month may come too soon for Lazuli, who provided William Buick with his first winner back following a spell on the sidelines when making a winning debut at Newmarket on Friday.

He said: “First and foremost it was great to have William race-riding again and it was nice to give him his first winner back.

“In respects to Lazuli I was very pleased with what I saw as he travelled well and showed a nice gear change and he picked up well.

“The Gimcrack may just come too soon for him and we may plot a course elsewhere, but he is a horse that hopefully can run at Pattern level later on.”

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Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby looking at Australia or Dubai for Barney Roy

Press Association Sport 07:20 07/08/2019
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Charlie Appleby is considering including 2017 St James’s Palace Stakes winner Barney Roy in his team for Australia later this year.

The Newmarket handler feels the former Richard Hannon-trained five-year-old is at the right stage of his career for an international campaign.

After claiming a Listed contest at ParisLongchamp on his penultimate start, the son of Excelebration has not been sighted since finishing down the field when sent off favourite for the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

Appleby said: “Barney Roy is on the pencil list for possible runners for Australia. We are just working out what will suit him best.

“He might not end up going there, he might end up going out to Dubai over the winter and running in Group races out there as he will have no penalties.

“I see him as an international type of horse for us now though.”

Although Appleby has ruled out running Barney Roy in the Group Three Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh on Friday week, he has hinted that a step back up to a mile and a quarter is on the cards.

He added: “He is in the Royal Whip later this month, he won’t be taking up that engagement but we will be looking at going back up to 10 furlongs with him.

“He is a gelding now with plenty of experience and a good level of ability.

“Whether he is an Australia horse, I’m not sure yet, but his focus will be international racing.”

Dubai Sheema Classic winner Old Persian will bid for a second Group One victory in Sunday’s Longines Grosser Preis Von Berlin as he tries to bounce back from defeat in the Coronation Cup at Epsom.

Appleby added: “We originally looked at the Arlington Million for Old Persian, but he is being aimed at a German Group One at Hoppegarten at the weekend now.

“We have given him a nice break and looking back at it now, he may have had a harder race than we thought on World Cup night and maybe he wasn’t quite on song in the Coronation Cup.

“He is in great order and is giving us all the right signs he is back where he needs to be.”

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