No King George, but Adayar getting his ‘old spark’ back

Last year’s Derby and King George hero Adayar is on the verge of returning to his old self, according to Charlie Appleby.

Though the reigning champion will miss the defence of his King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes crown on July 23, his trainer says he is seeing promising signs over the past 10 days.

Yet while the son of Frankel is inching ever closer to a return, the Godolphin handler says he will have to wait a little longer.

Appleby said: “Adayar is cantering away. I took him out of the King George a few days ago because I was having to force him and I didn’t want to have to do that.

“He’s a super horse and he’s been fantastic for us and from what we have seen in the last 10 days, he’s a different horse.

“He’s cantering away but most importantly he looks great and has got his old spark back about him.

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“He’s having a buck and kick again and I haven’t seen that for six weeks or more as he’s basically just been a horse. Now we are starting to see the old Adayar.”

The Epsom Classic winner memorably got the better of Mishriff in King George 12 months ago and was poised to make his belated seasonal reappearance in the midsummer Group One feature at Ascot, having previously been ruled out of both Royal Ascot and the Coral-Eclipse this campaign.

Despite encouraging signs, Appleby is in no rush to nominate a date for his reappearance, however.

“I’m not going to target a race,” he said. “He’ll tell me when he’s ready, and hopefully that will be sooner rather than later.”

The Newmarket handler also had news on another Classic winner. Having initially stated that Native Trail’s narrow defeat by Vadeni and Mishriff on the Eclipse at Sandown last Saturday would open up options over 10 furlongs, Appleby looks poised to bring the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner back to a mile.

But he is keen to keep him apart from stablemate Coroebus, who was three-quarters of a length in front of him when the pair were first and second in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Native Trail could head to France and back over a mile
Native Trail could head to France and back over a mile (Brian Lawless/PA)

Appleby revealed: “I thought Native Trail ran a solid race and he was just outstayed at that level.

“Two (furlongs) down, I thought William (Buick) was just having to look after him. He got 10 furlongs but he didn’t run through the line at 10.

“He’ll be competitive at that trip, but do I think we can reverse the form with the first and second? I’d be surprised.

“I’d like to come back to a mile and take him for the Prix Jacques le Marois while Coroebus will go to the Sussex Stakes (at Goodwood), all being well.”

Meanwhile, plans are on hold for last season’s St Leger hero Hurricane Lane, who finished third to Broome on his seasonal bow in the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot, before a tame eighth of nine in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on Sunday.

Charlie Appleby says Hurricane Run will wait for easier ground
Charlie Appleby says Hurricane Run will wait for easier ground (David Davies/PA)

Appleby feels the Doncaster Classic winner had viable excuses on each occasion.

He said: “With Hurricane Lane, unfortunately the ground was too quick. They said it was soft, we knew it wouldn’t be – it was good to soft in the morning, but just dried out all day to good to firm.

“William wasn’t hard on him, he said he wasn’t even enjoying it going to the start.

“It’s unfortunate as I didn’t want to run him on good to firm ground twice this year, but that is what has happened. Most importantly he’s come out of it fine.

“It’s very simple now, we’ll wait for soft ground and when that appears hopefully you’ll see Hurricane Lane at his best again.”

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