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Hurricane Lane on Hardwicke duty with big season ahead

Charlie Appleby’s multiple Group One winner Hurricane Lane begins his road towards the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Saturday’s Hardwicke Stakes.

Third in the French highlight last season, he had previously won the Irish Derby, Grand Prix de Paris and St Leger in a fantastic season.

While he has not been out yet this year, there has been no hold up with Appleby building everything around a return to ParisLongchamp in October, having been beaten three-quarters of a length last year just a few weeks after winning the final Classic of the season at Doncaster.

Appleby took him for an away day on Newmarket’s July Course recently and was happy with what he witnessed.

“What we’ve seen since he worked on the July Course, we’ve been very pleased with,” Appleby told Godolphin.

“His constitution as a three-year-old was phenomenal and on what we’ve seen early in his four-year-old career, hopefully we’re going to be dealing with the same horse.

“It’s always a question mark, whether it’s two to three or three to four, their first run of the season you are hoping you see the same horse but the signs have all been good.

“He’s the most laid-back character to a degree, he can challenge us sometimes but he’s very good at taking it all in and that’s why I think he’s done very well from three to four and I’m very excited to see him back on the track.

“His programme is working back from the Arc and the starting point has been pencilled in to the Hardwicke.”

His task was made a little sterner by the addition of Sir Michael Stoute’s Solid Stone to the line up, after being supplemented on Monday.

An easy winner of the Huxley Stakes last time out, he is probably better know as a work companion of Derby winner Desert Crown.

Given he represents the same connections, owner Saeed Suhail, Stoute and jockey Richard Kingscote, they will be looking to continue their golden summer.

Bruce Raymond, Suhail’s racing manager, said: “We’re really running him here just to see where he stands.

“He was good at Chester, but whether John and Thady’s (Gosden) horse (Megallan) ran up to form, I’d be dubious as it didn’t look like he handled the track.

“He’s won Group Threes, it was a Group Two last time and this may as well be a Group One with Hurricane Lane in it.

“We put him in just to see where he fits in, in all likelihood he might be racing abroad later in the year but this just looked the right race for him.”

Aidan O’Brien’s Broome, Mostahdaf for the Gosdens, Noel Meade’s Layfayette and Roger Varian’s Third Realm are also a among a field of eight.

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