There may have been no joy for Charlie Appleby and William Buick at Royal Ascot last weekend – but the pair hit back in perfect fashion with a fabulous four-timer at Newmarket on Saturday.
Eight days after seeing Pinatubo beaten into second place in the St James’s Palace Stakes, the trainer and jockey proved hard to keep out of the winner’s enclosure back on home turf at the Rowley Mile.
With both chasing bigger and better prizes in the coming weeks, it was a display that gave Appleby plenty of enthusiasm for his team going forwards.
He said: “I’ve had four-timers before and I think I’ve had a five-timer, but I’m pleased with the way the horses are running.
“The Royal Ascot horses ran well and I only had two favourites there, one being Pinatubo and the filly Bright Melody in the King George V Stakes.
“Most ran well and some were just finding their feet at that level. Hopefully we can keep going forward and get some more two-year-olds out soon.”
While the Newmarket handler has yet to commit to the next target for Pinatubo, he issued an upbeat report on impressive Coronation Cup winner Ghaiyyath ahead of his eagerly-anticipated clash with Enable in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.
Appleby said: “Ghaiyyath worked well this morning. It was nice straightforward work. Hopefully we will have a good week and we are looking forward to next weekend.
“There is no doubt that he is a different animal to last year in his post-race condition.
“Pinatubo came out of his race at Royal Ascot fine, but there is no decision where he goes next.”
Forming the highlight of the 155-1 Appleby and Buick haul was the length-and-three-quarter success secured by Volkan Star in the Listed Betway Fairway Stakes.
Appleby said of the 5-6 winner: “He put up a nice first start here and I felt he would come forward for that. William was very pleased with him there.
“Hopefully we can seek out a bit more improvement when he steps up in trip, as he kept galloping and maintained a good gallop.”
Boccaccio (13-8) looked like a horse to keep on the right side of when maintaining his unbeaten record to get the ball rolling for the duo with a short-head success in the Betway Handicap.
Appleby said: “Today he was a little bit raw and he will learn plenty again. He was courageous to put his head down at the right time.
“I think he is about ready for another step up in grade now. We will probably have a look at a Listed race for him.”
First-time cheekpieces appeared to have the desired effect on Al Maysan (100-30), who opened his account on turf to add to his two wins on the all-weather when seeing off Nugget by two and three-quarter lengths in the Betway Casino Handicap.
Appleby said: “I was a little bit disappointed on his last start. I just slightly felt he gave up a little bit easy, therefore we applied the cheekpieces and you can see the benefit for it.
“There is a 0-90 mile-and-a-half handicap for three-year-olds at the July Festival so we might have a look at that as an option. He seems to take his racing well.”
Sakura Petal (13-2) left a disappointing debut at Yarmouth well behind to complete a good day for the duo, transforming her work from the gallops on to the track to land the Betway Fillies’ Novice Stakes by three-quarters of a length.
Appleby said: “She has worked like a good filly at home, but I don’t know what happened at Yarmouth. I’m pleased she has shown us what she showed at home.
“She is a filly with a lovely pedigree and is a half-sister to Magic Lily. Hopefully there will be a bit more to come.”