Tag Archive for: Raasel

Goodwood main target for Achilles winner Raasel

Mick Appleby is hopeful there is more improvement to come from Raasel following his Achilles Stakes success at Haydock on Saturday.

The five-year-old joined Appleby’s yard in 2020 after being purchased for 10,000 guineas from Shadwell via the sales ring at Tattersalls in Newmarket.

After a quiet early season on the all-weather, he turned to turf in the autumn of 2021 and went on to win five successive races over five furlongs.

This year the chestnut has been upped in grade, taking on a trio of high-class handicaps over the same sprint trip before beating dual Group One runner-up Dragon Symbol on his Listed debut on Merseyside.

While the next plan of attack is not set in stone, Appleby has the Group Two King George Stakes at Goodwood in mind after a potential tilt at the Rockingham Handicap at the Curragh.

“He’s very well, the handicapper has stuck him up 7lb, so he’s on 108 now,” said Appleby.

Mick Appleby has high hopes for Raasel
Mick Appleby has high hopes for Raasel (Mike Egerton/PA)

“We did half think of supplementing him for Royal Ascot, but we’re not going to go down that route.

“We’re not 100 per cent sure where we’ll go next, we’ve got Goodwood in mind but we’d like to find something before then.

“He might go to the Rockingham at the Curragh, he’s got any entry there so that’s a possibility.

“Hopefully he can improve even more and he could possibly end up an (Prix de) L’Abbaye horse if he just keeps progressing the way he has done.”

Raasel rockets to Achilles success at Haydock

Raasel continued his ascent up the sprinting ladder with a clear-cut victory in the Betfred Nifty Fifty Achilles Stakes at Haydock.

A 10,000 guineas purchase out of Marcus Tregoning’s yard a couple of years ago, the Mick Appleby-trained five-year-old has proved another shrewd buy for successful ownership group The Horse Watchers.

Having racked up a five-timer last season, Raasel opened his account for the current campaign at Goodwood in April before filling the runner-up spot on his latest appearance at York.

The five-year-old was an 11-2 chance stepping up to Listed class on Merseyside and powered home inside the last of five furlongs to get up and beat 9-4 favourite Dragon Symbol – runner-up in the Commonwealth Cup and the July Cup last season – by three-quarters of a length.

“He’s certainly come through the ranks and I remember saying at the end of last season that he could be a lively horse this year,” said winning jockey James Doyle.

“York didn’t set up great for him last time, but it set up perfectly for him today. He’s got bundles of speed and a good kick.

“He has been kind of learning job and these sharp tracks play to his strengths.”

The Horse Watchers syndicate is partly managed by Chris Dixon, who was not present as he was on television duty at Beverley.

He said: “It sounds daft, but I’m not really surprised that he’s done that. Obviously if Dragon Symbol was going to be at his best then we weren’t sure, but he’s just so quick and he’s kept on progressing.

“We got to the point where we wanted to go for a big handicap if we could, but it was a little bit of a wait for a proper five-furlong one so we thought we’d take our chance here and see if he was ready for this kind of grade.

“Apart from at Nottingham at the backend of last year when the ground was probably too soft for him, he’s never really been off the bridle in a race.

“I would think we’ll find him a Group Three somewhere if we can, but the main aim for a while has been the Group Two at Goodwood – the King George Stakes.”