Moore and O’Brien believe Capulet has solid Royal Lodge credentials

An informative renewal of the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes looks in prospect at Newmarket on Saturday.

Any number of smart prospects take their chance, including Capulet who ran a tremendous race against well-touted stablemate Diego Velazquez at Leopardstown on Irish Champions Festival weekend.

Only half a length separated them in the Group Two KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes, with Capulet taking plenty of pulling up after the line.

Ryan Moore was on the winner that day but takes charge on the Justify colt for this latest Group Two assignment.

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“He did it nicely on his debut at Dundalk last month and he obviously improved a good deal when running Diego Velazquez to half a length at Leopardstown last time,” Moore said in his Betfair blog.

“That form looked strong at the time and it looks even better now with the well-beaten fourth, Deepone, coming out and winning the Beresford next time. All of these have the potential to take a big step forward, most notably Ghostwriter maybe, but he deserves to be the favourite as it stands, as the Leopardstown form is the best on offer going into the race.”

Trainer Aidan O’Brien was pleased with the horse at Leopardstown and felt he served his purpose in giving Diego Velazquez a real run for his money.

He told Sky Sports Racing: “We thought he was very nice when he won first time at Dundalk and we knew he was going to drag Diego Velazquez. We knew he needed to have a race for himself and learn because he’s very lazy at home, Diego, and if he went and won four or five lengths he wasn’t going to learn much.

“That’s why we ran Capulet, we knew he was going to take him and he was going to make him fight and that’s what he did do.

“We were delighted with him that day, we’re looking forward to him on Saturday. He’s in lovely form, we think the mile will suit him and the ground will suit him. We’ve always thought he was a very nice horse.”

Charlie Appleby has not had the headline year he has been accustomed to so far, but hopes are high that Aablan has Classic potential.

The Moulton Paddocks trainer told the Godolphin website: “We felt that Aablan did well to win the Solario Stakes, when seven furlongs looked sharp enough for him, and we are looking forward to seeing him over a mile. He has done well since Sandown and looks a live contender.

“We are hoping that this can propel him onto a bright three-year-old career.”

The aforementioned Ghostwriter is two from two for Clive Cox and, having impressed in both outings so far, his handler is keen to see how he handles the step up in both class and trip.

“His first success at Newmarket on the July course, and the way he was balanced and produced a winning debut, gives me confidence he will handle the track,” said Cox.



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“He followed that up with a really impressive success at Ascot and showed a lot of class. He has thrived throughout, he is a wonderful physical, big, strong colt and I’m looking forward to seeing him step up to a mile.

“He is very deserving of running in this sort of grade. He’s a horse we have always loved and he definitely sets the pulse racing.”

Roger Varian is another to saddle an unbeaten contender in Defiance, while the Carlburg Stables handler has another strong string to his bow in Al Musmak, a winner in Listed company at Haydock last time out.

He renews rivalry with Ralph Beckett’s Macduff, who was a length and a half runner-up but lost little in defeat.

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