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Royal Crusade charges home in G3 Prix de Ris-Orangis


Shamardal colt Royal Crusade earmarked himself as a sprinter with considerable potential as he readily beat seasoned opposition in the six-furlong G3 Prix de Ris-Orangis at Deauville, France, on Sunday, 12 July.

The Charlie Appleby-trained three-year-old was dropped in at the rear of the nine runners by William Buick and showed an impressive turn of foot approaching the final furlong, quickening between horses to hit the front with half a furlong to race. He galloped out strongly to come home a length and a quarter ahead of Glen Shiel.

Charlie Appleby said: “Royal Crusade was a smart two-year-old. He won his maiden over seven furlongs, was second over the same trip in the G2 Champagne Stakes, but then couldn’t beat King’s Command at Saint-Cloud. We have learned the hard way that seven furlongs is too far and dropping back to six is definitely his bag.

“He has learned an awful lot today. It was a bit rough out there but he is a strong unit. He was a bit slow out of the gates but William didn’t want to light him up because he knows the horse can over-race sometimes. He let Royal Crusade find his feet and the horse has done it all the right way round. It was very pleasing as the horse will have learned a lot and gained some confidence.

“Hopefully, he can come back for the G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest (Sunday, 9 August). It was always our long-term plan with this horse and I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be able to see out the extra half-furlong.”

William Buick added: “Royal Crusade jumped slowly and didn’t really travel for the first furlong and a half, but he can be a little bit keen, so l left him alone. Charlie told me to wait and he would show his turn of foot, and he certainly did.

“He was a three-year-old coming up against older horses, so it was a top performance. It was easy in the end and he is a sprinter with a turn of foot, which is nice to see.”