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Masar romps into reckoning for QIPCO 2000 Guineas

19 Apr 2018

Charlie Appleby-trained colt turns Craven Stakes at Newmarket into procession.

Buick and Masar return after their emphatic Craven success. Picture:

Masar thrust himself into the QIPCO 2000 Guineas picture by running his rivals ragged in the bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.

The Charlie Appleby-trained colt, sent off at 7-2, was swiftly sent to the head of affairs by William Buick and it was a case of the further the better for him as he romped home by nine lengths from White Mocha, with the odds-on Roaring Lion only third.

Masar had been well beaten on the dirt at Meydan on his return but last year’s Solario Stakes was clearly much happier back on turf.

Appleby said: “On what we’ve seen out there he’s going to be a big contender (for the Guineas). He’s a live shot, no doubt about that.

“We were confident we were either going to win or finish second to Roaring Lion.”

Bookmakers responded by cutting him to a best price of 7-1 for the 2000 Guineas on Saturday fortnight, the first contest in this year’s 35-race QIPCO British Champions Series.

The John Gosden-trained Roaring Lion was the 8-13 favourite to cement his Classic claims after chasing home Saxon Warrior in the Racing Post Trophy and winning three of his four juvenile starts, including the Royal Lodge Stakes over course and distance.

He did his best to keep tabs on the leader, but had no answer in the closing stages as Masar surged away.

Gosden was not ruling out a Guineas bid for the vanquished Roaring Lion. He said: “You get a small field here. They go steady, steady, steady and then ‘boom’ from the bushes.

“I’m perfectly happy. He was 80 per cent. He tired in the last furlong. For me, he needs an end-to-end gallop. He does not want a steady one and a dash.”

“He may well go for the Guineas. I’d hope there’d be proper pace all the way. There usually is. It’s very different to the trial.

“I think his strength in the end will be a mile and a quarter at least. He’s beautifully bred to do that.

“He’s in the Prix du Jockey Club as well, but the Guineas is still very much an option.”

Hugo Palmer said of the runner-up White Mocha: “We’ll probably skip the Guineas and go a mile and a quarter next time.”