Reach For The Moon scales Solario heights

Reach For The Moon forwarded his Classic claims as he cantered home in the Betway Solario Stakes at Sandown.

Sporting The Queen’s silks, the Sea The Stars colt was sent off the 2-5 favourite for the Group Three heat after winning one of his three previous starts, and finishing second on the other two occasions – most notably when narrowly denied in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Partnered by Frankie Dettori for trainers John and Thady Gosden, Reach For The Moon settled in behind through the early stages of the seven-furlong contest – but when sent about his business, the response was instant.

Reach For The Moon easily assumed control and was soon clear, with Dettori easing down well before the line to win by four lengths from Great Max.

Coral make him a 14-1 chance from 20s for next year’s Cazoo Derby, while he is the 10-1 joint favourite with his Chesham conqueror Point Lonsdale for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas.

John Gosden said: “They didn’t go much pace, so Frankie thought he would get on with it. He didn’t think he would go to the front that fast and go that far clear.

“He did well as he has learned a lot running up the Sandown hill on his own, but he has shown a bit of class I thought.

“You have got to look towards the autumn and we would like to wind up in one of those nice Group Ones. We will see how he is over the next few days and make our decision.

“He is very progressive and has done everything right. He has developed and strengthened.”

Dettori believes Reach For The Moon is progressing with every outing.

He said: “He was quite babyish at the beginning of his career. He was quite coltish and not concentrating. With racing he is getting better and better and today he stopped his antics a little bit and he was focusing better.

“He has got a good size, a wonderful stride and he has got gears. He is a very exciting prospect.

“I was a bit concerned about the slow pace at the beginning, so I set him for home a long way out. Normally I wouldn’t do that, but I didn’t want to sit and sprint as he is such a big horse.

“He went through the gears and put daylight between them and felt good on top.

“We feel like the more he is racing, the better he is getting, so I suspect you will see him out a couple more times before the end of the season. He is a good size so you would expect him to train on.

“I suspect the Dewhurst could be the plan.”

Reach For The Moon set to star in Solario

Reach For The Moon takes the next small step in his attempt to leap up the racing ladder when he bids for glory in the Betway Solario Stakes at Sandown on Saturday.

The Sea The Stars colt, owned by the Queen and already third-favourite for the 2000 Guineas, has looked a bright prospect with a first career victory at Newbury preceded by an excellent run behind Classic market leader Point Lonsdale in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Reach The Moon had no trouble in beating Harrow by four lengths to open his account – and the runner-up franked the form at York this week.

John Gosden, who trains the youngster with his son, Thady, said: “After Reach For The Moon won his maiden at Newbury we said we would go for the Solario. I’ve been pleased with his preparation and it is always a race that I like to target.

“It is a big step up in class for him, but hopefully he can handle it. The horse that was second to him last time won at York on Thursday and that all helps.

“He is progressive at this stage of his career, but he is still a very young horse and this is another stepping stone. He is a nice looking individual that has made a good start to his career. I thought he quickened well at Newbury and I thought both divisions of the race that day were good.”

Michael Bell is counting on a change of tactics helping first time out Newbury scorer Great Max, who finished one place behind Reach For The Moon in the Chesham Stakes.

“He has got a bit to find with Reach For The Moon, who he finished behind in the Chesham at Royal Ascot. He looks a picture at the moment and hopefully he will give a good account of himself,” said the Newmarket handler.

“He was quite prominent last time in the Superlative Stakes and that probably didn’t help him, but he will be ridden differently this time.”

Andrew Balding believes Star From Afarhh, the sole filly in the field, is more than capable of building on her debut success at Newmarket.

“It is a little bit difficult to know what she beat, but there has already been a couple of winners come out of that race, so the form is working out reasonably well,” said the Kingsclere trainer.

“She is taking on the colts this time, but she is a filly that that has been working well and the seven furlongs at Sandown should suit her. She was very professional and did it well at Newmarket and her home work has improved.”

The Martyn Meade-trained Cresta is expected to give a good account of himself after accounting for the odds-on Modern Games on his debut at Leicester.

Freddie Meade, assistant to his father, said: “We always thought a bit of the horse, he has taken time to come to hand but the last couple of weeks before his run he showed us some good things.

“We were pleased with the way he did it at Leicester, although he did quite a few things the wrong way round. He was slow away and he raced alone in the middle of the track, but the times looked good and he did it nicely.

Cresta (left) makes a winning debut at Leicester
Cresta (left) makes a winning debut at Leicester (David Davies/PA)

“We thought it was worth throwing him in the deep end and see where we go. He probably wants a mile in time, but a stiff seven should be ideal now. Fingers crossed he runs well.”

Atheby may be the only maiden in the field but trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam feels the son of Guitafan could outrun his big price tag.

She said: “He finished third behind a nice Godolphin horse at Chelmsford and he was steaming at home at the finish so the extra furlong should suit. It is a small field and he will be in the hustle and bustle if he jumps well.”

Chapple-Hyam has a leading contender in Saffron Beach as she lines up for the other Group Three race on the card, the Betway Atalanta Stakes.

The New Bay filly has not lived up to the heights of her second in the 1000 Guineas, but she had a legitimate excuse for a below-par effort in the Falmouth Stakes last time.

Saffron Beach has the services of Hollie Doyle in the Atalanta Stakes
Saffron Beach has the services of Hollie Doyle in the Atalanta Stakes (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“She scoped dirty after the Falmouth, but she has had a course of antibiotics. We re-scoped her after that and she was clear and she has been clear ever since,” said the Newmarket handler.

“Adam Kirby can’t do the weight and David Egan is at York, but we have managed to secure Hollie Doyle. Hollie came and sat on her on Wednesday and did a strong canter up Long Hill and she loved her.

“I’m happy with the way she has trained and I can’t fault her. I think she will love the stiff finish there. She certainly does deserve more black type.”

Last season’s Group One Fillies’ Mile runner-up Indigo Girl is expected to improve considerably for her comeback fourth at Ascot, according to Gosden senior.

Indigo Girl is expected to improve for her seasonal debut effort
Indigo Girl is expected to improve for her seasonal debut effort (David Davies/PA)

He said: “She has only had the one run this year as she has had a series of niggles that have held her back. Hopefully she will come forward for her first run.

“She over raced a little bit and she didn’t end up seeing it out. She is a strong-willed filly and as long as she puts her best foot forward she has got the ability.”

Balding is hoping Auria can handle the step up in grade as she attempts to follow up her Listed victory over the course and distance last month.

“She is an improving filly and is already a course and distance winner. There is some rain around which will suit her,” he said.

“She will stay further than this in time but she did it well here the last day but this is a much stronger race and it has been the plan since she won here last time.”