Charlie Appleby will send Masar into battle in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot this week, having decided to skip the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.
The 2018 Epsom Derby winner hasn’t raced since he gained the Classic success some 12 months ago and his trainer feels the Hardwicke over a mile and a half is preferable for a comeback over the potentially high-class ten-furlong Group One.
Both Magical and Sea Of Class are down to race in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and Appleby has elected to swerve the fillies. He believes the Godolphin-owned colt will be ready to shine come Saturday.
“We were very pleased with Masar’s work [on Saturday] morning, and we thought the right option for him is the Hardwicke,” said the Newmarket handler.
“It’s his first start since the Derby – and with the rest of the season ahead of us, we just felt it would be a tough assignment in the Prince of Wales’s, with the way that race is shaping up.
“The Hardwicke is a lovely race, and we know the conditions should suit him. It looks the right option to start his four-year-old career.”
The news will likely have come as a big boost to jockey James Doyle, retained by Godolphin, as he’ll now be free to partner last season’s Irish and Yorkshire Oaks-winning filly Sea Of Class for trainer William Haggas on Wednesday. While he stayed out of the decision making process, Doyle feels the right thing is being done by Masar.
“I think after being off for over a year, Charlie was keen for him not to jump into a strong Prince of Wales’s – although he would be deserving of it and would go well in the race, for his future we just thought the Hardwicke over a mile and a half might be better first start back,” he said.
“It won’t be as strong a race, I think that was the deciding factor.” Masar is 5.00 to win the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.