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Article 18th April 2023 Newmarket

By Graham Clark

Charlie Appleby could take a tried and tested route with Majestic Pride, who he hinted at stepping up to Listed race level following his victory in the bet365 British EBF Conditions Stakes in the opening race of the year at Newmarket today, day one of the bet365 Craven Meeting.    

Having finished second on his debut over course and distance the son of Shamardal, who is a half-brother to the Group One winner Farhh, added to his last time out Chelmsford City success when prevailing by a neck in the seven-furlong contest.

Although Majestic Pride holds an entry in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas on May 6th the Godolphin-trainer earmarked the King Charles II Stakes 24 hours earlier, a race Appleby claimed last year with subsequent Jersey Stakes winner Noble Truth.

Appleby said of the successful 2-1 favourite: “He has been on the runners list to be fair for the last three weeks so I didn’t think fitness wasn’t going to lack today.

“He is a horse with the ground being on the slow side as it out there, all that family love slow ground. Although he is by Shamardal I was hoping the dam’s side would come out strong and that is what has proven today I feel.

“Going forward I don’t think he is a 2000 Guineas horse, but we could probably look at the King Charles II Stakes down here with him.”

Amanda Perrett was vindicated for taking the advice of her brother-in-law, and former champion jockey Jim Crowley, after Rebel Territory secured victory on his yearly return for the second season running with victory in the National Stud Handicap.

Backed into 7-2 favourite the gelded son of Territories didn’t let his supporters down when getting the better of a late battle with Vafortino by half a length.

Perrett said: “He is a super horse. He is a little bit ground dependant but the biggest plus today was the drop back in trip.

“We were probably just going a bit too far. He is very genuine and he over raced in the second half of last season.

“Jim (Crowley) rode him here last season and he went into the dip with a double handful and came out with nothing so we came back to seven furlongs for his first start.

“It is great for the owner breeders as they are great supporters and put so much in it. The guy who looks after him Neil Tucker has worked for me for 20 years.

“I think we will look at the Victoria Cup if the ground is right.”

David O’Meara heaped plenty of praise on owner Lee Bond after Bopedro claimed his first win for his current connections when bouncing back from defeat in the Pertemps Network Lincoln at Doncaster with victory in the Close Brothers Handicap over a mile.

O’Meara said following the half a length success secured by the 11-1 chance: “Ours were needing the run and that might have just put him right. He ran well enough in the Lincoln. He travelled nicely and met a little bit of traffic but he finished off nicely.  

“Lee Bond (owner) told me to leave the blinkers off as it might just freshen him up so I have to give him the credit for it. He had good form for Jessie Harrington and there is a good programme for these milers.”


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