Charlie Appleby feeling positive about Masar’s 2000 Guineas bid

Trainer believes his Craven Stakes winner can make his presence felt at Newmarket

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Charlie Appleby is struggling to come up with any negatives regarding Masar’s chance in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.

The flashy chestnut ran out a decisive winner of the Craven Stakes last month, with odds-on favourite Roaring Lion a long way back in third.

Having flopped on the dirt in Dubai, Masar got his career back on track in no uncertain terms and heads to the Classic as a major player.

“I have been pleased with his preparation and he’s come out of the Craven in good order. I can’t give you a negative,” said Appleby.

“The way he galloped down into the dip in the Craven was very good, he handled it well. He’s very athletic. I’m very happy where we are with Masar at the present time.

“We were obviously delighted with Masar’s performance in the Craven Stakes. We went into that race a fit horse, with the run under our belt out in Dubai, but you couldn’t have been more pleased with the way he quickened away in the final furlong. Once he hit the rising ground, he put a lot of distance between himself and the rest of the field.

“He was fit going into the Craven but has definitely come forward mentally and in terms of maturity. His preparation has been very routine since then and we are very happy with him. It should be lovely ground at Newmarket on Saturday and he has the course experience now.”

Appleby went on: “He made all last time out, but ideally we would like to take a lead. He is a very versatile horse – he can make the running but has also been dropped in behind horses. We will play it by ear from stall 14 and leave it up to William (Buick) as to where he feels the pace might be.

“Masar is a horse that we always loved as a two-year-old. It was unfortunate how it panned out for him at the Breeders’ Cup, but we put a line through that and we knew not long after the gates opened out in Dubai that dirt was not the surface for him.

“Based on what we saw in the Craven, we must go into Saturday’s race hoping that he is a serious contender. It’s an exciting weekend for the team and we hope that Masar has a decent chance.”

A total of 14 runners go to post for the first Classic of the season including three from Aidan O’Brien’s powerful Ballydoyle yard in Gustav Klimt, Saxon Warrior and Murillo.

Charlie Appleby feeling positive about Masar’s 2000 Guineas bid

Newmarket 15:35, 5 May 2018

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