Godolphin Day 3 Royal Ascot
Talented stayer Endless Time, who tackles two and a half miles for the first time in the G1 Gold Cup, features among 13 Godolphin runners for day three of Royal Ascot on Thursday, June 22.
The Charlie Appleby-trained five-year-old has twice finished second at G1 level in France, including last season’s Prix Royal-Oak over just short of two miles, and went down by less than a length when finishing fourth in the 14-furlong G2 Yorkshire Cup at York on May 19.
William Buick takes the ride on Endless Time, who faces 13 rivals including last year’s Gold Cup hero Order Of St George, multiple G2 scorer Big Orange and the 2015 St Leger winner Simple Verse, who was runner-up in the Yorkshire Cup.
Charlie Appleby said: “We were very pleased with Endless Time at York and she has come forward for the run.
“In an ideal world, we would like to see the potential showers turn up but we are confident that she will see the trip out well and she heads into the race in good form.”
Three Godolphin contenders for the G3 Hampton Court Stakes over a mile and a quarter include the Saeed bin Suroor-trained pair of Benbatl (Oisin Murphy), who was fifth in the G1 Derby at Epsom Downs on June 3, and G3 Chester Vase fourth Tamleek (Jim Crowley).
The pair are joined by Bay Of Poets (Charlie Appleby/William Buick), who finished a close seventh in the G1 Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly, France, on June 4.
Saeed bin Suroor reported: “Benbatl ran a big race at Epsom and his latest piece of work went well. This distance will suit but we would ideally prefer some ease in the ground.
“Tamleek won well at Newmarket at the start of the season and has been in good form since his run at Chester. Stepping back down to 10 furlongs will help him and he is in good form.”
Charlie Appleby said: “We were delighted with Bay Of Poets’ first two runs this season in Derby Trials and we weren’t overly disappointed with his performance in the Prix du Jockey Club, when he put up a respectable performance.
“We felt that there may be a chance of improvement in him, so we decided to have him gelded following that run.”
Saeed bin Suroor is also doubly represented in the mile Britannia Handicap, with Leshlaa (Silvestre De Sousa) dropping back in trip after finishing fourth in Listed company over a mile and a quarter at Newmarket and Leader’s Legacy (Gerald Mosse) seeking a third straight win.
Moritzburg (Michael Halford/Shane Foley), a seven-length scorer at Listowel, Ireland, on June 4, and Cappezano (Charlie Appleby/William Buick), who made three dirt starts at Meydan, UAE, earlier this year, also feature among the 30 runners.
Saeed bin Suroor said: “The ground was too soft for Leshlaa at Newmarket last time and he prefers good going. He won on good to firm earlier in the season and is in good form.
“Leader’s Legacy is improving all of the time and this looks the right race for him. I am looking forward to seeing how he gets on and it is a case of so far, so good with him.”
Michael Halford commented: “Moritzburg is in grand form and his maiden win at Listowel was very good. He will love the forecast ground and has plenty of experience for a big handicap like this.”
Charlie Appleby reported: “Cappezano’s work has been very good and he pleased us with his performances out in Dubai over the winter. We tried to stretch him in the Al Bastakiya on Super Saturday and I expect the drop back to a mile will suit.”
Atty Persse (Roger Charlton/Kieran Shoemark), successful in a handicap at Sandown Park in April, and Doncaster scorer Bin Battuta (Saeed bin Suroor/Pat Cosgrave) head a five-strong Godolphin team for the King George V Handicap.
Charlie Appleby sends out three runners in the 12-furlong contest – First Nation (William Buick), who was runner-up to Bin Battuta at Doncaster in April, plus maiden winners Janszoon (Mickael Barzalona) and Oasis Charm (Colm O’Donoghue).
Roger Charlton commented: “Atty Persse has got such a raking stride and is so laid back that anything less than a really well-run race isn’t going to see him to anything like best effect. Hopefully he will get that and, the faster the ground, the better.
“The step up to a mile and a half will pose him no problems whatsoever and, if we had it in the back of our minds to go for a Derby Trial earlier in the season, he should be competitive off a mark of 93.”
Saeed bin Suroor remarked: “Bin Battuta’s condition looks much than before and he’s coming on nicely with his work. Physically, he looks really well and a mile and a half will suit.”
Charlie Appleby added: “First Nation came out his latest race at Sandown in good order and we have kept him back for Royal Ascot. The step up to a mile and a half is going to suit him, although a bit of ease in the ground would be beneficial in an ideal world.
“Janszoon won his maiden nicely at Lingfield and then we left the blinkers off again on his latest run at Haydock, but he disappointed on that occasion, so we are putting them back on. If he runs up to his maiden form, he should be competitive.
“Oasis Charm started his career with two good performances, including winning a maiden nicely at Leicester, but his third run may have come a bit too quickly for him. We have given him a nice break and have been pleased with his preparation.”
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