Ghaiyyath set to begin his campaign in Coronation Cup at Newmarket

Wed 20 May 2020

Ghaiyyath is set to kick off his campaign in the rescheduled Coronation Cup at Newmarket.

The five-year-old was a 14-length winner of a German Group One last term and a similarly easy victor in a Group Three at Meydan in February.

He had been due to run on Dubai World Cup night before the meeting was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Appleby reports him to be in fine heart ahead of his planned European return, should racing get the go-ahead to resume on June 1.

He told “His first target is the Coronation Cup at Newmarket on Friday, June 5.

“This year, Ghaiyyath comes to his season in Europe physically stronger, with a winter behind him in Dubai, where he won the Dubai Millennium Stakes at Meydan. Now a five-year-old, he is the finished article.

“He missed his intended Sheema Classic engagement when the Dubai World Cup meeting was cancelled and he was kept ticking over with routine conditioning work at Mahmoom. He travelled back to UK in late April and he has been in full training since at Moulton Paddocks.”

Barney Roy was also victorious in Dubai over the winter, winning the Group One Jebel Hatta on his second outing in March, and Appleby has set his sights on Royal Ascot gold for the six-year-old.

He said: “He showed in Dubai that he is back to his best, and next month’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Ascot is his next assignment.

“Barney Roy showed his class, winning twice at Meydan at the Carnival. His turn-of-foot can be devastating. He will also be on our international team later in the year.”

Old Persian could also head to the Royal meeting for the Hardwicke Stakes after winning at the highest level in Dubai and Canada in 2019.

Appleby said: “He’s had the winter off. He was Ghaiyyath’s understudy, and when he wasn’t required in Dubai, the decision was taken to freshen him up for a campaign in Europe, where there are plenty of nice races for him.

“The Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot is a possible early target, and later maybe the Canadian International at Woodbine in October.

“He’s a nice horse to have in the stable. He’s part of the family. He, too, is ear-marked for the international squad in the autumn.”

Cross Counter, winner of the Melbourne Cup in 2018, has another Australian trip as his long-term target despite finishing fifth on his first run of the year in Saudi Arabia.

Appleby said: “He was fresh and well when he went to Riyadh for the Saudi Turf Handicap in February, and he did a bit more than we wanted, he was a bit gassy.

“He was fifth (beaten seven lengths) Obviously, the Gold Cup in Dubai was cancelled and he’s arrived back in UK in good order.

“An accomplished international campaigner, Cross Counter won the Melbourne Cup in 2018, he was eighth (beaten a length and a half) last year, and if it is logistically possible, the Cup will be his end-of-year mission once again.”

The Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot is the target for Royal Crusade, who was twice placed in Group race company last term.

Appleby said: “The very soft ground caught him out when he finished second to King’s Command in a Group Three at Saint-Cloud last October. His previous close second (to Threat) in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster was a pointer to his potential.

“He is a colt with plenty of natural pace, and while we are open minded about his optimum trip long term, the more immediate plan is to go down the sprinting route, starting with the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot next month.”

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