Masar set to make his return for Appleby at Royal Ascot
Charlie Appleby was set to make a decision yesterday on which race Masar would enter in his return to action since winning the Derby at Royal Ascot last year.
The Newmarket trainer’s Derby winner was at Newmarket’s July course on Saturday, in what was his first visit to a racecourse since suffering a leg injury during his preparation for the Coral Eclipse last summer.
With this year’s Royal Ascot meeting starting on Tuesday next week, Appleby was set to decide yesterday between Wednesday’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes or the Hardwicke Stakes, a week on Saturday, for Masar’s comeback outing.
“It’s been a long road and we’re delighted to have him back on a racetrack,” Appleby told the Racing Post at the weekend.
“I was pleased with how he travelled into the gallop and he does what he usually does when he hits the front.
“He’s not a horse who will win a gallop by five lengths and he’s had a healthy blow.
“That will sharpen him up mentally as much as anything. Hopefully that will put us right for a potential tilt at Royal Ascot.
“We’ll get him home and give him a piece of work next Wednesday, which will be the deciding factor whether he runs in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes or the Hardwicke.”
Appleby saddled two winners at Royal Ascot 12 months ago, with Blue Point victorious in the King’s Stand Stakes and Old Persian coming out on top in the King Edward VII Stakes.
Blue Point will bid to retain the King’s Stand Stakes crown at Ascot on Tuesday, and is a close second favourite at 3-1 behind the current ante post market leader Battaash (2-1).
“Blue Point is in great order and it’s going to be exciting,” Appleby told the Racing Post.
“This is what racing wants - you want these good horses clashing.
“If Battaash and Blue Point turn up with their A-game, it’s going to be a great race.”