Autumn Stakes: Ghaiyyath primed for Newmarket test

Fri 13 Oct 2017

Charlie Appleby is confident course and distance winner Ghaiyyath can take a step up in class in his stride in the Masar Godolphin Autumn Stakes on Saturday.

The Dubawi colt was a promising third on his Doncaster debut in mid-September and showed the benefit of that experience when bolting up over Newmarket's Rowley Mile little over a fortnight ago.

He tests the water at Group Three level this weekend in the hands of James Doyle.

Appleby told "I was pleased with Ghaiyyath's course and distance victory and he came out of that race very well.

"This looks the logical next step and I am confident that he is going into the race in very good order. I am hopeful of a very bold showing."

Ghaiyyath features in a nine-runner field that also features John Gosden's Lingfield scorer Purser, the Aidan O'Brien-trained pair Flag Of Honour and Zabriskie and Dream Today from Mark Johnston's yard.

Gosden said: "He is in good form and he had a nice little warm up run the other day at Lingfield.

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"He needs to strengthen through the winter as he is still quite unfurnished.

"I'd like to think we will run here then call it a day for the year. He has got a good mind on him but he is a bit of a frame of a horse.

"He should be alright going up to the mile."

Dream Today looked a high-class prospect after winning the Convivial Maiden at York on his racecourse debut, but could only finish fifth when well fancied for the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father, said: "He won really well and you don't win that race on your debut unless you're pretty smart.

"Bizarrely, he was probably more green on his second start at Doncaster than he was on his first run. He just wandered around a little bit when he came under pressure and we have to hope he learns more from getting beat than he did from winning.

"This is a little bit of a step down in class from the Champagne. It's still a tough ask, but we're confident our horse is a Group horse in the making and we think these are the races he should be competing in."

Appleby and Johnston also saddle major contenders in the Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes, the opening contest on a seven-race card.

Rastrelli is on a hat-trick for Appleby following September successes at Brighton and at this venue.

"Rastrelli did his best work towards the end over a mile last time and I feel that the step up to 10 furlongs is going to suit. He goes into this race in good shape," Appleby said.

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The Johnston-trained Dee Ex Bee bids for Listed honours 13 days after landing a conditions event at Epsom.

"This sort of race is tailor-made for him," Charlie Johnston added.

"Stepping up to a mile and a quarter won't be a problem for him. In fact, I'm certain he'll improve for it.

"We think he'll be a nice middle-distance horse next year and at this stage of the season, it will be about stamina on Saturday.

"We don't have any issues or queries on that score."

The second Listed prize of the afternoon is the Darley EBF Stallions Boadicea Stakes.

Queen Kindly heads a 13-strong line-up and faces Malcolm Saunders-trained course and distance winner Pixeleen, Thafeera, who has won her last three starts for Charlie Hills, and Charlie McBride's Spiritual Lady, who won the Bosra Sham Fillies' Stakes here 12 months ago.

The final race of the day is the Group Three Darley Club Stakes.

Sovereign Debt won his three starts after joining Ruth Carr, but has been penalised since and must concede weight all round once more.

"He's really done us proud but his penalty makes life very difficult for him," said Carr.

"As usual it looks a very competitive race but he's going down there as the joint top-rated, the thing is his penalty makes it tougher.

"It certainly won't be a pushover but you don't expect that in a Group Two.

"If he can pick up some more place money we'd be delighted, he certainly doesn't owe us."

Chris Wall's First Sitting beat Garlingari in a Group Three at Deauville on his penultimate start, but was a long way behind the same horse in in the Prix Dollar at Chantilly a fortnight ago.

"He came back from France in good form. He just ran a bit flat on the day for whatever reason, whether it was the ground or the nature of the track, I'm not sure," said Wall.

"He should have been competitive really as he'd beaten the winner the time before. Frankie (Dettori) looked after him once his chance had gone which has allowed us to run him again.

"The 3lb penalty he has to carry for winning the Group Three doesn't help his cause, but we're happy with him and hopefully he can end his season with a good run."

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