Charlie Appleby 'couldn't be happier' with One Ruler as 2,000 Guineas preparations continue
Charlie Appleby believes he has One Ruler exactly where he needs to be after continuing his preparations for next month’s QIPCO 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket today with a racecourse gallop.
The Godolphin homebred son of Dubawi, who is a general 10-1 chance for the opening Classic of the season on May 1, followed up a recent away day at Chelmsford City by taking part in the seven-furlong exercise at the Rowley Mile this morning alongside stable-mate Well Of Wisdom.
Partnered by now-retired six times champion jockey Kieren Fallon, One Ruler moved stylishly past Well Of Wisdom, who was ridden by Robert Winston, around the two-furlong pole before quickly opening up a gap and passing the post comfortably in command.
One Ruler already has one course and distance success to his name having landed last year’s Group 3 Autumn Stakes on his penultimate start and now the Newmarket handler hopes he can add another to his CV by securing him a breakthrough success in the mile Classic.
Appleby said: “I was very pleased with that. He has been to Chelmsford and it was very kind of Newmarket to let us do this. He wasn’t going to go for a trial as he has got enough experience already on his CV and he has justified himself to turn up straight to a Guineas.
“We were very pleased with what we saw at Chelmsford but after discussing with Kieren Fallon, who has ridden him a lot at home, we just felt that we would like to get him on the turf and get a nice spin into him around the time of the Guineas trials.
“We have now got a nice piece into him and that puts us where we need to be. He hasn’t missed a beat all winter and we will now just go through his normal routine until the Guineas. Kieren explained that he handles that dip flawlessly and he already has the experience of being a course and distance winner, so he ticks a lot of boxes.
“We can all bring a horse like this up here to beat an 80 rated horse but Well Of Wisdom is rated 106 and is no mug but he found that quite straightforward. We were not here to see him gallop away by 20 lengths; it was just nice to give him a day out.”
Although One Ruler holds further Group One entries in both the Cazoo Derby at Epsom Downs and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh, the Classic-winning handler believes that he could be seen at his best over shorter than a mile and a half.
He added: “On the back of winning the Autumn Stakes people start talking about the Derby but the first thing we are looking at is the Guineas and that’s the target.
“I don’t think he is a stayer as he has got stronger over the winter. I’m very pleased with the way he has done physically. He was a little bit slow coming to hand but I think we have had a hard winter.
“I couldn’t be happier with what I’ve seen over the last six weeks or so. He has stepped up his work and he has answered every question that we have put to him so far.”
Meanwhile, Appleby expects to see 'plenty of improvement' from Master Of The Seas who will bid to enhance his QIPCO 2000 Guineas credentials in the bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.
The Moulton Paddocks master will be double handed in the Group 3 feature that he saddled Masar to glory in back in 2018 on route to claiming victory in the Derby at Epsom Downs just over a month later.
Although last year’s Group Two bet365 Superlative Stakes winner suffered an odds-on defeat on his return to action in a Listed contest at Meydan in February the Newmarket handler reports the son of Dubawi, who set to sport a first time hood, to have taken a step forward for that outing.
Appleby said: “He is a horse that we went to Dubai with knowing that our aim was to be here for the Craven. As we know it is a long season whatever he was going to do out there we were hopeful that we would see plenty of improvement which we have seen.
“He has come out of the race well and has done well. He shipped back into England a week ago and we are looking forward to the Craven. He has got some great form. He won his maiden here then he won the Superlative on the July Course and he wasn’t disgraced in the National Stakes, where I feel he didn’t show his true running as he was very keen early on.
“He was keen in Meydan and we are going to apply the hood in the race as he has gone to post with one on to the start in his last race. Hopefully that will help him switch off and do it the right way round. This was always going to be our plan. The mile suits him and he was doing his best work towards the end at Meydan and he kept on nicely towards the line.”
Appleby feels a return to a quicker surface will help his other runner La Barrosa, who failed to cope with testing conditions on his Group 1 debut in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud having previously landed the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes over seven furlongs on the Rowley Mile.
He added: “One box he does tick is that he is already a course winner and the mile will suit him. I think you can put a line through that last run of his in France as it was in very soft ground at the backend of the year. His preparation has gone faultlessly. He looks great.
“They are two horses that both bring Group race form into it and on two year old form they are the two picks. It got a bit tight on the rail in the Group 3 here but he got the gap and showed a bit of class and acceleration to get his head on front.”