Godolphin's Royal Crusade one to note following Newmarket debut

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Godolphin‘s Royal Crusade added his name to what is fast becoming a powerful-looking juvenile team being assembled by Charlie Appleby with a winning debut at Newmarket on Friday.

The Shamardal colt, who holds Group One entries in the Middle Park and Dewhurst Stakes, hit the target at the first time of asking, holding fellow debutant Hot Summer at bay by a neck in the cjmurfitt.com British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes.

Appleby said of the 5-6 winner: “It was very pleasing. We are not going to get away from it as his home work has been nice.

“We know the family and we were fortunate to have the mare in her racing career (Zibelina) and being by Shamardal you can’t go wrong.

“As William (Buick) said, he is a work in progress in respect that he was very green out there. He travelled for fun and there was nothing that could take him for long enough unfortunately.

“William said if he could have sat for a bit longer it would have helped him. He is a big, strong individual. We won’t rush him back. There are plenty of autumn targets there.”

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Godolphin's Benbatl unlikely to be a part of the spring carnival

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Benbatl is unlikely to return to Australia this year – with targets in Canada and America mooted.

Saeed bin Suroor’s globetrotter won a Group One Down Under last year before having a crack at Winx in the Cox Plate.

He ultimately came off second best in that encounter, and has been given plenty of time to get over those exertions.

“After he went to Australia, we gave him a break because he’d had a hard season,” said Bin Suroor.

“He’d run in Dubai, England, Germany and Australia.

“He’s back in training, and we’ll start looking for races for him in September time. He could start off in England – but there are races abroad for him in Europe.

“We’ll keep all his options open, but I don’t think we’ll take him back out to Australia this year. We might have some others for Australia this year.

“I think it’s more likely we’ll look at Canada or America for him. We’ll see how he is going – so far he is moving well, looks healthy and is working really nicely.”

Bin Suroor also has an update on Royal Marine, a Group One winner last season but who has been bitterly disappointing this term.

“Royal Marine has been gelded,” said the Newmarket trainer.

“He’s been disappointing. He just isn’t showing what he showed last year.

“We took him to Dubai and thought he might not have liked the dirt – but (then) he disappointed in the Guineas and in France.

“I still believe he has the class – his form is in the book.”

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German return in the mix for Godolphin's Old Persian

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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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