Guineas winner Coroebus sets a lofty standard to aim at in Tuesday’s St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The Dubawi colt provided trainer Charlie Appleby with his first win in the colts’ Classic when he beat better-fancied stablemate Native Trail in a thrilling race.
Only defeated once in three races as a juvenile, Coroebus still has plenty of untapped potential and Appleby thinks the fact he is racing around a bend for the first time may suit his push-button style even better than Newmarket’s straight mile.
“There’s no getting away from him, he’s the horse that everyone is excited to see on the first day,” Appleby told Godolphin.
“Personally I think it (going round a bend) should suit him. He’s a strong traveller and if anything the straight mile at Newmarket, from a jockey’s point of view, they’ve had to count to five before they allow him to make a move.
“Going around a turn there might allow him to come back behind the bridle a little bit more and the jockey can therefore ride more of a race on him more than the straight mile.
“We are happy with his draw in stall two and he heads to Ascot in good form.”
William Haggas runs two improving three-year-olds – the unbeaten Maljoom, who won the German 2000 Guineas last time out, and My Prospero, who got the better of the highly-regarded Reach For The Moon at Sandown.
It could be a special day for Haggas, who also fields heavily odds-on favourite Baaeed in the Queen Anne, with both races being part of the Qipco British Champions Series.
“They are two improving young three-year-olds and it’s a very prestigious race, so they are entitled to have a shot,” said Haggas.
“They’ve got a lot to find to beat Coroebus, but they are going the right way.
“They are different. Maljoom would be the faster of the pair, but My Prospero will stay well.”
John Gosden is stepping Mighty Ulysses up markedly in class having finished second in a handicap at Haydock under a big weight.
“It looks a smart race and he’s got to take the Guineas winner on, but he’s rated 110 now and when they get up to that rating you don’t get too many options,” said Gosden.
“He got that rating from his second in a good handicap at Haydock, where I think he made his move too soon.”
Arguably the runner in the race with the best two-year-old form is Ralph Beckett’s Angel Bleu.
He won the Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and two Group Ones in France at the end of the season, the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and the Criterium International.
Third in the Greenham Stakes to Perfect Power over seven furlongs on his return, he would appreciate going back up to a mile but would prefer softer ground.
“He worked well on Thursday and he’s all set to go, but whether he can beat this lot on fast ground, I don’t know,” said Beckett.
“He wasn’t pleasing me when we were looking at the Irish 2,000 Guineas, but he’s back in good shape again now.”