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Moulton Paddocks stable tour and 2022 season preview

J A McGrath

While trainer Charlie Appleby outlined plans for 2,000 Guineas contenders, Native Trail, Coroebus and Modern Games (click on the video above for more), a squad of potential middle-distance types are also ready to step up for a series of Derby trials in coming weeks.

Appleby pinpointed five colts he expects to be tested in the trials, though he was reluctant to nominate specific first targets for each.

“They are all colts with Derby aspirations at this stage, but which Derby, and which trials we use to get a line on their ability remains to be seen. Much depends on how they progress in the next couple of weeks,” Appleby said.

Sandown Park, Newbury and Newmarket are most likely to be the courses on which these Godolphin hopefuls face further examination as Derbys at Epsom, Chantilly and the Curragh fast approach.

Goldspur, a son of Dubawi, emerged from his juvenile season with a creditable record of two from three, which also included a G1 placing in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud, over 1m 2f on very soft ground.

Appleby said: “He won the Zetland Stakes in good style and he has done well from two to three. His pedigree suggests that stepping up in distance will suit him. The Sandown Classic Trial is under consideration.”

Hafit is by Dubawi out of a Galileo daughter of the dual-Classic winner Attraction, and thus one of the blue bloods of his generation at Moulton Paddocks. He finished third in the Zetland Stakes, beaten a head and a short head by stablemate Goldspur.

Appleby said: “This lovely colt has a staying pedigree, which makes him an obvious candidate for a Derby. He has wintered well, done extremely well. We look to him to make further progress in the weeks ahead.”

New London embarks on his three-year-old season unbeaten, one from one.

Appleby said: “He is another son of Dubawi, whose pedigree suggests that he should be making his mark over middle-distance and staying trips. He broke his maiden at Newmarket, and we will look to the trials with him now. Sandown is a course that should suit him.

Walk Of Stars, who is by Dubawi out of a Street Cry mare, is following a similar pattern to his year older stablemate Adayar, having opening his account at Nottingham late in his juvenile career.

Appleby said: “After finishing third in a Newmarket maiden, he went to Nottingham, where he won by four lengths. He is another lovely type by Dubawi working towards one of the early trials.”

Nation's Pride is a son of Teofilo, and a winner of his last three starts by wide margins, including the Jumeirah Derby, over 1m 2f on Turf at Meydan.

Appleby said: “He ran in Dubai over the winter and clearly thrived for the experience. He is worthy of taking his chance in a Derby trial, possibly at Newmarket, though he might be one for France.”

Appleby also highlighted two other three-year-olds of note.

New Science, by Lope De Vega out of a Galileo mare, finished third (beaten three lengths) in the Jumeirah Classic.

Appleby said: “He had solid juvenile form, and he came forward for his one run in Dubai. He is a possible for the Free Handicap at Newmarket, and a race such as the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot could be a suitable target after that.”

Ruling Dynasty is an unraced three-year-old Night Of Thunder half-brother to Old Persian.

Appleby said: “This is my ‘dark horse’ for this year. He is an unraced colt, who has done well physically from two to three. We have had experience with the family, and this fellow has been pleasing me a lot. We will look to run him in the Wood Ditton at the Craven Meeting at Newmarket.”

Appleby also had updates on five horses, who ran in Dubai.

Lazuli won the Blue Point Sprint at Meydan.

Appleby said: “He won well in Dubai. He will now be prepared for his first run back in Britain, which will not be until the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, in which he is likely to be joined by Man Of Promise, who will also go straight there.

Creative Force came out of the Al Quoz Sprint in good order, but he found the ground too quick, and he was also a little ring rusty. He will be aimed now at the Platinum Jubilee, in which he will possibly be joined by Naval Crown, who put up a good performance on his first try in the sprinting division when fourth in the Al Quoz.”

Appleby also mentioned Manobo: “He came out of the Dubai Gold Cup well. The race was not run to suit him. We will drop him back in trip now and aim him at the Yorkshire Cup, over 1m 6f in May.”