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More to come from Masar


EXCEPTIONAL in the way he handled Epsom so beautifully, Masar strode purposefully to the line to win the Epsom Derby with tremendous authority. But both Sheikh Mohammed and trainer Charlie Appleby believe we are seeing an extremely talented young horse in just the initial stages of his development. The New Approach colt gave Godolphin a famous first Derby success in the royal blue colours, but Dubai’s ruler is of the opinion that much better is to come. Appleby said: “His Highness and I went to look at Masar two nights before the Derby, and we both agreed we’d love to see him as a 4yo. “His hindquarters, for instance, there’s still a lot of filling out to do.

I think he is getting stronger all the time and only starting his upward curve as a racehorse,” the trainer added. As results go, few could ever have delivered as much satisfaction to Sheikh Mohammed and his family as Saturday’s Derby. Two homebreds, Masar and Dee Ex Bee, filling the first two places and by two Darley stallions in New Approach and Farhh, respectively. Appleby, himself, is a Godolphin product of another variety, and he was thankful to Sheikh Mohammed for the opportunity he had been given to train for Godolphin five years ago. “It had always been my dream to be the first to win the Derby in the Godolphin blue colours, just to repay His Highness for entrusting me with the job.

“I have been 20 years with Godolphin, and I used to do the travelling with the horses, so I would always see His Highness at the big meetings. “He would ask me about the horses so, when I was appointed to the job, it was a lot easier for me to be able to communicate about the horses with His Highness because it was second nature to me.” Appleby praised Sheikh Mohammed for his ongoing support and encouragement. “Since day one, you couldn’t ask for a better owner, but more importantly, a better person, being so positive and supportive. “That’s what I’ve had all the way in this job.

Even after we finished second in the Oaks with Wild Illusion on Friday, he said to me: ‘Charlie, don’t worry, tomorrow’s another day. Keep going forward.’ “It is truly an honour to work for His Highness and I am forever in his debt.” As to where he goes next, plans are as yet undecided for Masar with the Irish Derby an obvious target but the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown also under consideration. Appleby continued: “I like to work back from the races we’re looking at in the autumn, such as the Arc and the Champion Stakes. He’s not in the Eclipse but we could supplement him, as we did with Hawkbill a couple of years ago, or there is the Irish Derby to think about. We’ll see how he is in the next week or so before we make a decision.”

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07 Aug 2018
Issue Number: Issue 647
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Dubai playing a key role in British racing, says Jockey Club boss
Busybody Tadhg looks to scale mountains after climbing Hills
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