Tag Archive for: Walk Of Stars

Appleby sweet on possible Derby supplementary Nations Pride

Charlie Appleby put Cazoo Derby contenders Nahanni and Walk Of Stars through their paces at Epsom on Monday morning – but rates possible supplementary entry Nations Pride as his best chance should he be added into the Classic reckoning.

Nahanni and Walk Of Stars, who are 20-1 and 16-1 shots respectively, are currently the Godolphin handler’s only remaining entries in the 12-furlong contest as he seeks to follow up Adayar’s shock 16-1 success in 2021.

However, the Godolphin handler could have a late contender for the race in Nations Pride, winner of four of his five career starts, including a seven-length demolition job in a Newmarket Listed event at the end of last month.

By Teofilo, Nations Pride has won up to 10 furlongs to date and while Appleby is not certain he will stay, connections are considering putting him into the premier Classic at a cost £75,000 next Monday.

Nations Pride first faces a crucial workout on Wednesday, though.

Speaking at the Cazoo Derby Gallops Morning, Appleby said: “With Nations Pride, he could turn up and he ticks the most boxes.

“He’s only had five runs in his life and is neat and well balanced. Pedigree wise, does he have an abundance of stamina? He will work on Wednesday which will be the defining point.

“Nations Pride is the highest rated and has done little wrong. If I was forced to say which is in with the best chance, he would be the one.”

Manobo, Walk Of Stars and Nahanni at Epsom on Monday
Manobo, Walk Of Stars and Nahanni at Epsom on Monday (Neil Morrice/PA)

Nahanni booked his place in the Derby field when winning the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom last month, while Walk Of Stars followed in Adayar’s hoofprints by finishing second in the Lingfield Derby Trial.

They worked in company with Coronation Cup joint-favourite Manobo, with last year’s Derby-winning jockey Adam Kirby riding Nahanni and William Buick on Walk Of Stars.

Appleby said: “The three I worked are all different.

“Nahanni is a different animal when he turns up at the races. At home he struggles to even warm up in a gallop. He led the way in a swinging canter under Adam.

“He’s done fantastically well in the past four weeks and turned himself inside out. He’s been here and done it, while at Leicester he put nine lengths between himself and the others in a matter of a furlong.

“He will be putting in his best work at the finish in the Derby.”

Walk Of Stars (left) with Nahanni
Walk Of Stars (left) with Nahanni (John Walton/PA)

Walk Of Stars was sent off favourite at Lingfield when beaten three-quarters of a length by United Nations and while Appleby was disappointed with the result, he felt the Dubawi colt would have learnt for the occasion, seeing him as a similar type to Adayar.

He said: “Walk Of Stars has all the ability and possesses the engine to do something exciting. He did disappoint at Lingfield, but he was jigging about and in my view he’s a work in progress.

“He will have the hood on to post in the Derby and if you could pick one that’s got the profile of an Adayar, then it’s him.

“He’s a big, scopey horse and Will said he thought he handled the track very well at Lingfield. He said that for a big horse he switches his leads very easily.

“This horse has a lot more character and is a big boy who is still immature.”

Adam Kirby struck gold on Adayar last year
Adam Kirby struck gold on Adayar last year (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Kirby was a late booking for Adayar in 2021 after he was replaced on expected mount John Leeper by Frankie Dettori and he could again be in the mix for a Godolphin ride, although Buick and James Doyle will have first pick.

Appleby added: “With the jockeys, in an ideal world I like them to ride the ones they are most happy to ride. I want them to go out and think they are on the best horse.

“To win an English Derby is the ultimate goal and one that keeps them dreaming through the winter.

“William, James and Adam are my jockeys and Adam is a big part of the team and sits on plenty of horses.”

Manobo was in action at Epsom
Manobo was in action at Epsom (John Walton/PA)

Manobo is Appleby’s only Coronation Cup contender after a minor setback ruled Adayar out last week, with his five-race unbeaten run having ended at Meydan in March when second to Stay Foolish in the two-mile Dubai Gold Cup.

“Manobo goes for the Coronation Cup and he cantered down the hill in a hood,” said Appleby.

“It’s the first bit he’d done since the Gold Cup in Dubai when unfortunately they went so steady, so we are dropping him back to a mile and a half.”

Appleby relies on Walk Of Stars and Nahanni for Derby bid

Charlie Appleby expects to field both Walk Of Stars and Nahanni as he seeks back-to-back victories in the Cazoo Derby at Epsom.

The Godolphin handler saddled 16-1 shot Adayar to win the premier Classic last year, following on from Masar’s triumph in 2018.

Like Adayar, Walk Of Stars finished second for Appleby in the Lingfield Derby Trial last time while Nahanni booked his place in the line up when landing the Blue Riband Trial over 10 furlongs at Epsom in April, following on from a previous victory in a mile-and-half novice heat at Leicester.

Walk Of Stars is a general 16-1 shot for the Derby while Nahanni is a best-priced 25-1, with Appleby hoping both can take a leap forward on the big day.

Nahanni was an Epsom winner in April
Nahanni was an Epsom winner in April (John Walton/PA)

“We’ve got the Derby fast approaching us and we left the two horses in there yesterday in Walk Of Stars and Nahanni,” Appleby told the Godolphin website.

“Walk Of Stars has most definitely come forward mentally from that run at Lingfield. He’s a big playboy still, but we’re definitely very pleased with what we’ve seen since his run.

“Nahanni hasn’t been seen since his win at Epsom in the Blue Riband Trial. As a physical (specimen), we couldn’t be any happier with the way he’s done and work-wise he’s just been picking up the gears each week.

“We’re looking forward to the pair of them going to Epsom.”

Walk Of Stars puts Classic credentials on trial at Lingfield

Walk Of Stars bids to cement his Epsom claims in the SBK Derby Trial at Lingfield on Saturday.

Following the surprise defeat of New London in the Chester Vase earlier in the week, Walk Of Stars appears to be trainer Charlie Appleby’s chief Derby contender.

Impressive at Nottingham in the autumn, the Dubawi colt doubled his tally when getting the better of stablemate Hafit at Newbury last month and will be a hot favourite to follow up this weekend.

Having seen his subsequent Derby and King George hero Adayar beaten into second at Lingfield 12 months ago, Appleby will be hoping Walk Of Stars can go one better under William Buick.

He told the Godolphin website: “We have been delighted with how Walk Of Stars has progressed so far and the run at Newbury has certainly brought him on.

“We were keen to take him here to gain more experience – he has done a lot of his racing on conventional tracks, so we wanted to challenge him a bit more.”

Appleby has an interesting second string to his bow in the form of Natural World – a son of Frankel who won a Newbury maiden on his racecourse debut three weeks ago.

Natural World, who will be ridden by Jack Mitchell, does not hold a Derby entry but is in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Natural World powers to victory
Natural World powers to victory (Steven Paston/PA)

Appleby added: “Natural World has definitely come forward mentally and physically since his debut, when he didn’t surprise us by winning.

“We thought that we would dip our toe at this level and see where we are for the future.

“They both head into this in great shape and the step up in trip is hopefully going to see further improvement.”

The last horse to complete the Lingfield-Epsom double was 2019 scorer Anthony Van Dyck, one of five previous winners for Aidan O’Brien.

This year the Ballydoyle handler relies on United Nations, who finished fourth behind the Appleby-trained Nahanni in last month’s Blue Riband Trial at Epsom.

“He had a couple of runs last year and his first run back at Epsom, it looked like he needed it,” said O’Brien, who dominated the trials at Chester this week.

“This is a step up in trip, but we’ve been very happy with him since Epsom.

“We always thought he stay further than 10 furlongs which is why he’s going for the Lingfield trial.”

The other two runners are David Menuisier’s Lionel and the Martyn Meade-trained Zechariah.

Trainer David Menuisier
Trainer David Menuisier (Simon Cooper/PA)

Lionel was only three-quarters of a length behind Natural World when third at Newbury, though Menuisier feels he would have fared better had he hit his stride quicker and not encountered traffic problems in running.

“He has come out of the race great, we felt he was beaten by the circumstances more than the opposition that day,” he said.

“Having missed the break, that wasn’t ideal, he made some headway but it was a bit too late.

“The horse would have learned a great deal that day and would have stripped fitter for it as well, we almost consider him to have won and are moving on by stepping up in class.”

Meanwhile Meade expects his dual winner Zechariah to improve on his comeback run when sixth in the Craven at Newmarket.

Martyn Meade's Zechariah
Martyn Meade’s Zechariah (Steven Paston/PA)

He said: “We didn’t have him completely revved up for the Craven and hopefully he’s a horse that will settle and a mile and a half will be better for him.

“He’s doing everything right and I think you can put the Craven to one side as that probably wasn’t the right race to run him in.

“He’s a big horse and hopefully he can settle round Lingfield and come and do the business where it matters – we live on these dreams!”

Appleby readying Derby challenge following Guineas glory

Charlie Appleby expects to have a clearer picture of his likely Cazoo Derby challenge by next week.

The Godolphin trainer, who saddled the first two home in the 2000 Guineas on Saturday, is sending New London to the Boodles Chester Vase on Wednesday and Walk Of Stars to the Lingfield Derby Trial on Saturday.

Appleby also trains Nahanni, who threw his hat into the ring for the Classic event when winning the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom recently.

“This week will be interesting. We’ve got New London running in the Vase and Walk Of Stars heading to Lingfield on Saturday,” Appleby told Racing TV.

“Those are two horses who have untapped potential still.

“Nahaani, you can’t take it away from him and while it might not have been an impressive victory at Epsom, he was dropping back in distance from a mile and a half to 10 furlongs and we saw what improvement came out of him over a mile and a half.

“He’s a son of Frankel and we know what his stats are now becoming in those mile-and-a-half races.

“They are three exciting horses and two of them are Dubawis with untapped potential as we stand.”

On Friday Nations Pride was an impressive winner of the Listed Newmarket Stakes, but at this stage he appears more likely to run in the French Derby.

“The Derby has been mooted but we’ll see how the trials pan out this week, we’ve contemplated looking at the French Derby to be honest,” said Appleby.

“I’m not saying he won’t get a mile and a half as he galloped out strongly over 10 furlongs, but he’s got a lot of natural pace to be able to utilise in France.

“It will come up for discussion once we get to next weekend.”

Appleby duo enter Classic equation after fighting out Newbury finish

Charlie Appleby further strengthened his formidable Classic hand as Walk Of Stars touched off stablemate Hafit in the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup British EBF Conditions Stakes at Newbury.

Fresh from saddling five winners at Newmarket’s Craven meeting earlier in the week, Appleby enjoyed a treble at Newbury on Saturday and kept up his remarkable run at the Berkshire circuit on Sunday.

Little over an hour after newcomer Life Of Dreams emerged as potential Oaks contender with a maiden success, Derby entrants Walk Of Stars and Hafit fought out the finish to the feature event on the card.

Despite being placed at Group Three level, Hafit was second best in the market at 6-4 under William Buick, with Nottingham maiden winner Walk Of Stars the 4-5 favourite in the hands of James Doyle.

The market ultimately proved spot-on, with Walk Of Stars coming with a late run to deny Hafit by a neck – and a rematch could be on the cards at York next month.

Appleby’s assistant, Alex Merriam, said: “If the ground is sensible they could both go to the Dante.

“James was very happy with Walk Of Stars. The horse had only had two runs and will improve again.

“Both are in the Derby and will appreciate a bit more juice in the ground.”

Doyle added: “It’s hard to predict with this type of horse where he might end up, but what I did say to Alex is that he’s not slow by any means. He’s got speed and he picked up quickly when I asked him.”

It was far more plain sailing for Life Of Dreams, who was cut to 14-1 from 20-1 for the Oaks by Coral after comfortably obliging as the 4-5 favourite in the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing Maiden Fillies’ Stakes under Buick.

Life Of Dreams could bid for Classic glory in the Oaks
Life Of Dreams could bid for Classic glory in the Oaks (Neil Morrice/PA)

“She did everything right, it was all good, and I’m sure the Oaks will be considered,” said the rider.

“I felt really comfortable throughout on ground that has tightened up since yesterday. If anything she got there a bit too easily.”

Andrew Balding and David Probert teamed up to win the Joe Mercer Memorial EBF Maiden Stakes with 7-2 chance Holguin.

The son of Havana Grey was one of seven newcomers who faced the starter for the five-furlong opener and he registered a half-length verdict over Commander Straker, with 10-11 favourite Redemption Time only third.

Balding said: “He is our first two-year-old runner of the season and we didn’t know what to expect.

Holguin after winning at Newbury
Holguin after winning at Newbury (Neil Morrice/PA)

“He’s one of four or five we have to go early while the rest need more time. He has plenty of scope and probably wants another furlong.

“Our winner of this last year (Berkshire Shadow) went on to win the Coventry (at Royal Ascot) and it looks like this one wants six furlongs, too.”

First Nightingale (7-2) was an impressive winner of the first division of the Coln Valley Stud Bridget Maiden Fillies’ Stakes on her debut for Roger Varian.

However, David Egan’s mount was pulled up lame after the finish and was taken to hospital by horse ambulance with a leg injury.

“Something must have happened as she was pulling up, as she looked to be striding out OK crossing the line. She’s hurt her knee and has been taken to hospital. I hope she will be all right,” said Varian.

The William Haggas-trained Razeyna (7-1) proved best in division two, seeing off Lady Eros by a length in the hands of Tom Marquand.

Ahorsewithnoname with Ryan Moore and Nicky Henderson at Newbury
Ahorsewithnoname with Ryan Moore and Nicky Henderson at Newbury (Neil Morrice/PA)

Cheltenham Festival runner-up Ahorsewithnoname successfully reverted to the Flat in the Compton Beauchamp Estates Ltd Silver Bar Handicap.

Nicky Henderson’s mare finished second in the Cotswolds behind Love Envoi, who was second in a Grade One at Fairyhouse earlier in the day.

The seven-year-old was the 10-11 favourite to go one better under Ryan Moore and she did just enough to get the better of Auriferous by three-quarters of a length.

“It was a last minute decision to come here. It looked like being very competitive early on, but then when I had another look on Good Friday morning I thought it was starting to cut up,” said Henderson.

“It’s the longest Flat race run at Newbury and one of her owners, Dominic Burke, is the racecourse chairman.

“Ryan said she got caught on the outside with too much daylight but she’s very genuine. A lovely mare and very honest.

“She ran such a good race at Cheltenham, it’s hard to believe I’ve had her two years and this is the first race I’ve won with her!

“When she ran at the Festival, it looked as if she was heading to stud, but that’s now on the back burner. We have left her as a novice over hurdles for next season, and we’ll go and try to win the same race she was second in.”

The Robert Cowell-trained Blue De Vega was a shock 50-1 winner of Dubai Duty Free Handicap in the hands of Sean Levey, while Whoputfiftyinyou (15-8 favourite) landed the closing Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises Handicap.