Charlie Appleby has nominated the Coronation Cup at Epsom as the starting point for his Derby and King George winner Adayar.
The first horse since Galileo in 2001 to beat his elders at Ascot having triumphed at Epsom, Adayar finished fourth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, one place behind stablemate Hurricane Lane, and fifth two weeks later over 10 furlongs in the Champion Stakes.
Appleby is keen to have another go over 10 furlongs later this year – with York’s Juddmonte International mooted – believing Adayar is getting quicker with age.
“Going forward the plan would be to start him off in the Coronation as we know he can handle the track, so he’s ticked one box, and the trip,” he said.
“So he’ll head to the Coronation and hopefully we’ll look towards the King George again and if we’re lucky enough to tick one of those boxes then the view will be taken by myself and the team whether to contemplate coming back in trip and taking in the Juddmonte International.
“Hurricane Lane has stamina in abundance, while this lad has won a Derby and a King George, as he’s got stronger he’s got quicker.
“This time last year he was still very raw, now he’s mentally in a very good place and physically I cannot fault him. He’s a year older and a year wiser and he’s a true professional now.”
A return to Paris is the main aim for Hurricane Lane, who makes his reappearance at Royal Ascot.
“Hurricane Lane had a tough season but he’s thrived through the winter and we’re very much working back from the Arc this year,” said Appleby, outlining plans for his stable stars on the Godolphin website.
“The plan is to head to the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot first, potentially the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and then a trial for the Arc.
“He’s just starting to pick his work up now and we’re looking forward to Royal Ascot and seeing him in action in the Hardwicke.
“He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with this year, the one thing about him is his versatility.”
Yibir is another smart middle-distance colt but he is likely to be campaigned abroad with trips to Hong Kong and Japan in the offing later in the year. He was narrowly denied in the Sheema Classic last week.
“I said to William (Buick) he was either going to be a hero or a villain. He lost nothing in defeat but he’s always going to be a bit of a hostage to the pace of the race,” Appleby went on.
“He’ll have an international campaign, we’ve earmarked the Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont in the middle of May and if we get a result there we could look at something like the Sword Dancer.”
Appleby has abundant strength in depth in this year’s three-year-old division, with answers likely to be found in the upcoming trials. Currently Native Trail tops the tree.
“It’s not the first time we’ve had a champion two-year-old but the one thing missing off the Moulton Paddocks CV is a 2000 Guineas winner,” said Appleby.
“Native Trail was a man against boys last year. As some of the old school used to say, the Guineas can be the last two-year-old race of the year and if the Guineas was next week I’d be pretty confident he’d be a stride in front of the crew at the moment.
“We’ll look to the Craven with Native Trail and the Greenham with Coroebus. Both of them have won on the Rowley Mile so that won’t be an excuse.
“Coroebus has a lot of pace so running him in the Greenham will hopefully help him race the right way round.
“After the Guineas we’ll decide if one goes to Ireland and one goes to the St James’s Palace or if they both go to the St James’s Palace or if one wants stepping up in trip.
“Modern Games will head to Newcastle for the Burradon Stakes. If we’re lucky enough to achieve what we hope to achieve in the other trials then he might go to France or even Ireland.”