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Royal Crusade & King’s Command chase G3 glory at Saint-Cloud


G2 runner-up Royal Crusade and debut winner King’s Command go for G3 success in the Prix Thomas Bryon over seven furlongs at Saint-Cloud, France, on Friday, 4 October.

Both two-year-olds are trained by Charlie Appleby, with Royal Crusade (William Buick) dropping down in class after battling well to go down by a neck to Threat in the G2 Champagne Stakes over the same trip at Doncaster, UK, on Saturday, 14 September.

The Shamardal colt had previously made a winning start to his career with a swooping victory in a seven-furlong novice race on Newmarket’s July Course in August.

King’s Command (Mickael Barzalona) was also successful at Newmarket on his first start with a rallying win over six furlongs in June. The son of Dubawi disappointed at the same course in the seven-furlong G2 Superlative Stakes the following month but ran a better race to finish third in the Listed Prix Francois Boutin, also over seven furlongs, at Deauville, France, in August.

The duo face four rivals headed by G3 Prix La Rochette runner-up Wooded, Prix Francois Boutin winner Happy Bere and debut victor Oxalis.

Charlie Appleby said: “We were delighted with the performance of Royal Crusade in the Champagne Stakes, when he was only narrowly beaten by a good horse in Threat.

“He came out of that race in good order and a repeat of his Doncaster race should make him a very strong contender at this level.

“King’s Command has been slightly disappointing since winning nicely on debut. He has been gelded since his latest start and we are hoping that it will bring about an improved effort.”

Godolphin is also represented in two Listed races at Saint-Cloud on Friday. Four-year-old Magic Lily (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) makes her first start for nearly two years in the 10-furlong Prix Dahlia. The New Approach filly was a close third in the 2017 G1 Fillies’ Mile and won by eight lengths on her only other appearance.

Firebird Song (Henri-Alex Pantall/Mickael Barzalona) seeks a second consecutive Listed success in the seven-furlong Prix Matchem, with the three-year-old filly having kept on well to score over a mile at Hanover, Germany, on Sunday, 15 September.