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QIPCO Champion Stakes could be long-term goal for Masar

4 Jun 2018

Charlie Appleby says his Derby hero may drop back in distance and contest Coral-Eclipse on his next start

Masar with Appleby, left, work rider Brett Doyle, Buick and his groom

Investec Derby hero Masar could drop back in distance and contest the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on July 7 his next start and, long term, the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day may be on his agenda.

Charlie Appleby, trainer of the colt, suggested both QIPCO British Champions Series features were possibility for his stable star when speaking to the media at his Moulton Paddock stables in Newmarket earlier today.

“I always like to work back from races and the Arc or QIPCO Champion Stakes is what we will work back from,” he said. “We will let the dust settle and let the horse tell us.

“I would be confident stepping back to a mile and a quarter. He showed that he travelled very well on Saturday and he showed what speed he had when he won the Craven.

“He has got stronger from the Guineas to the Derby and he put on condition and started to fill out a bit more. Mentally I felt he was in a very good place and had grown up so much in the last six months and it was just a case of his physique catching up with were his head was at.”

Having won the Derby at only the third attempt since taking over Moulton Paddocks five years ago, Appleby added: “It was incredible for myself and for His Highness and the team. And the fact that he was a homebred made it very special as well. People always say what is your dream in your profession and it has always been my goal to get the Godolphin Blue across the line first in the Derby.

“We were a 20-1 shot which did surprise me but then again I’d never had a Classic winner before. For me I couldn’t have been any happier with the horse coming into the race.”

Jockey William Buick was able to savour his first Derby triumph, having ridden the runner-up in in t twice previously. “It was magical – that’s the only way to describe it,” he said. “And of course, it is very special for everyone here [at Godolphin]. There was a feel good vibe around Epsom and everyone was pleased for Sheikh Mohammed and his family and the operation.

“Charlie had amazing confidence in the horse going into the race and no person was more confident in the horse than him. The QIPCO 2000 Guineas probably didn’t quite work out for us but he still ran well and Charlie was confident he would get the trip in the Derby. You can never expect to win the Derby but we knew he had all the credentials.”

Regards future options, he said: “From my point of view he could drop back to a mile and a quarter easily. He is a very versatile horse and he is a fast horse as well. He’s always been a lovely horse to deal with and always been an important horse. Since the day he’s stepped into the yard he’s been the apple of Charlie’s eye.”