Charlie Appleby expressed his satisfaction after seeing Qipco 2000 Guineas contender Coroebus go through his paces in a racecourse gallop at Newmarket.
Just a few hours before his unbeaten stablemate Native Trail’s bid to solidify his place as ante-post favourite for the season’s first Classic, Coroebus instead enjoyed a Wednesday morning workout on the Rowley Mile alongside two stablemates.
Narrowly beaten in the Royal Lodge in September, the Dubawi colt went one better in the Autumn Stakes over the same course and distance a couple of weeks later.
In resplendent Newmarket sunshine, he certainly looked the part under William Buick as he quickened away from King Of Time (James Doyle) and Falling Shadow (work rider Michael Metcalfe).
Appleby said: “That was just what we needed really. They’ve gone seven furlongs on beautiful ground and Will (Buick) was very happy.
“Last year as a two-year-old, in the Royal Lodge he whooshed past and was quite aggressive in the way he wanted to do it – he was taking William on.
“You saw it in the Autumn Stakes as well. He’s a very strong traveller and when you press the button it’s instant.
“What I was pleased to see this morning is that he did it smoothly. That is what we’ve been teaching him to do all spring – to go through the gears rather than going from third to fifth.
“We’ve managed to find that extra gear in between and teach him to do it the right way round.”
With Native Trail booked for the Craven, Appleby had initially suggested Coroebus would make his seasonal reappearance in this weekend’s Greenham Stakes at Newbury.
But the Moulton Paddocks handler ultimately decided travelling away from Newmarket for a trial run that could do more harm than good.
“Native Trail and himself both worked very well last Saturday and after that work I just felt this horse has only ever ran at Newmarket in his three starts,” Appleby explained.
“Going down to Newbury would be something we haven’t challenged him with before and, two weeks out from a Guineas, do we really want to be challenging him?
“I probably got as much out of that this morning as I would had we taken him to Newbury, apart from taking home some prize-money potentially.
“We just felt taking him to Newbury was an exercise that didn’t need to be done, we could do it here on our doorstep and hopefully turn up here in two and a half weeks’ time.”
Whatever happens in the 2000 Guineas on April 30, Appleby believes we will not see the best of Coroebus until later in the year.
He added: “This fellow is by Dubawi and you can see him filling out behind as the season progresses.
“In the autumn of his three-year-old career and hopefully in his four-year-old career, I’d like to think you’ll see a different individual altogether.
“He’s very much a work in progress, which is why I don’t want to be running in a trial to try to work stuff out when we can see it at home ourselves.
“I’m pleased with what we’ve got out of today. He’s had a nice little blow and will come forward.”