Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby admits Masar has a lot to prove in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot following 385 days off the track
- Masar faces his first real test in over a year in the Hardwicke Stakes on Saturday
- James Doyle’s mount has not raced since his victory at Epsom last June
- He wintered in Dubai before completing the finishing touches at Newmarket
Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby says the signs are positive but he will not discover if 2018 Derby winner Masar still has the appetite for racing until he is tested in the Hardwicke Stakes.
James Doyle’s mount has not raced since his win at Epsom last June, 385 days ago, and has been nursed back to fitness after suffering a leg injury.
The son of New Approach wintered in Dubai and the finishing touches to his return, including a racecourse gallop, have been completed in Newmarket.
Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby says the signs are positive for 2018 Derby winner Masar
Appleby said: ‘He has had a racecourse gallop and we were pleased with what we got out of that. What we have seen since then has put us in a comfortable position going into the Hardwicke Stakes.
‘Whether he still retains the ability and enthusiasm that he showed us in last year’s Derby, only a race will tell. I was always confident of getting him back. A lot of man hours have been put into this horse.’
Appleby’s Blue Point will bid to complete a rare Royal Ascot sprint double when trying to add the Diamond Jubilee Stakes to Tuesday’s win in the King’s Stands Stakes.
The double was achieved in 2003 by Choisir, the first horse to do it since Diadem in 1920. Ascot specialist Blue Point has won four of his five races there and Appleby added: ‘If he gets beat it might be we have come back too soon, but all the signs are that we are not doing that.’
James Doyle’s mount has not raced since his win at Epsom last June, 385 days ago