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Article 5th May 2023 Newmarket

By Graham Clark & Nick Seddon

The 2023 QIPCO Guineas Festival got underway today with the Listed Newmarket Stakes, which went to Godolphin for the seventh time courtesy of Castle Way (7-1).

Taking the lead over half a mile from home in the 10-furlong contest the three year old son of Almanzor, a half-brother to the Group One-winning miler Palace Pier, stayed on gamely under William Buick to score by a length and three-quarters from Royal runner Circle Of Fire with his stablemate and 7-2 Favourite, Victory Dance, another neck away in third.

Winning trainer Charlie Appleby said: “I don’t quite know why the market was quite the way it was but that is not my business. As respect to the two horses and what they have achieved at home, William has always loved this horse. William, at the time, was sitting on the fence as to which one he would like to ride but he did say that he has always loved this horse so I’m going to stick with him and he has. He has given him a lovely ride and I said to William before going out let’s get on with it and let him use himself and he will stay further for sure.

“I’m very pleased with Victory Dance as well stepping up as that was his first time over the trip. On a more conventional track I think you will see further improvement.

“I would say Ascot (for the King Edward VII Stakes would be next for Castle Way) would be next and the only reason I didn’t put him in the Derby picture was he went around Epsom last year and got beat around there as favourite. Admittedly the ground was soft but Adam (Kirby) said he hated the track and he is just one of those horses that is a big unit.

“I feel we have tried and tested once on that track and I don’t really want to go back there again. I feel this horse is far better working from Ascot then going from there.”

William Buick, the winning rider, added:“It’s early days for the three-year-olds and you have got to see them run before you make an opinion of them. Both are very nice horses. I’m very pleased with my horse. It was his first run of the year and he will improve physically.

“I think he will get a mile and a half. He has got that nice combination of speed and stamina over that trip. He is a well-balanced horse and you have to be here. He couldn’t have done anymore today.”

Circle Of Fire may have been unable to provide a Royal success on the eve of the Coronation bur John Warren, Racing Manager to HM The King and HM The Queen Consort, was far from despondent with the runner-up.


Warren said: “He’s run very nicely for only his third start and as you could see, he looks as though he will go up another gear if he goes another two furlongs. Ryan (Moore, jockey) thought they went slightly too steady for him early on and thought that had they gone a bit quicker it might have suited him all the better.

“The abandonment of the Sandown race (Classic Trial) has rather thrown us out of kilter timing-wise, so we’ll have to get our heads around that. I haven’t spoken to (Sir) Michael (Stoute, trainer) yet, but he looks a horse for Royal Ascot. The owners will definitely be able to attend that one, so that’s nice. They were a little busy today!

“Ryan was impressed with him and there were some pretty nice horses in that race as a benchmark. It would be tremendous to get him at Royal Ascot in Coronation year.”


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