Dubai: Having sampled the sweet taste of success in winning the coveted Epsom Derby last year, Godolphin handler Charlie Appleby is hankering for more glory with a horse that he believes has the profile to emulate his 2018 winner, Masar.
Appleby, who gifted Godolphin with a first Derby victory in the stable’s flagship Royal Blue colours, is enthusiastically campaigning Line Of Duty on the Classic fairways.
A son of the great Galileo, Line Of Duty announced himself as a big-race contender when posting a courageous victory in the Group 1 Breers’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs, USA, last November.
Having previously won his maiden at Goodwood, and the Group 3 Prix de Conde at Chantilly, France, Line Of Duty’s next test is the Al Basti Equiworld Dante Stakes (G2), the best-regarded trial for the Derby. In total, 10 winners of the race have achieved victory in the Derby including most recently Golden Horn in 2015.
Looking ahead of Line Of Duty’s season debut in this year’s renewal of the Dante at York on May 19 Appleby said: “Far from saying that Line Of Duty is a Derby horse yet, him and Masar have very similar profiles.
“They both raced five times at two, they both went to America and Line Of Duty actually came out with a better result than Masar [who was sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf].
“We made the decision not to send Line Of Duty to the 2,000 Guineas [May 4] as I have always said that a turning track is better for him, as it keeps him interested.
“I was confident going into the Breeders’ Cup that the turns there as well as the hustle and bustle would suit him. He is terrier-like and enjoys getting into a bit of a scrap,” added the Southampton-born handler.
“Those are things you are sure to get around Epsom.”
“I am looking forward to Line Of Duty running next week and, provided everything goes well between now and then, we will be going there in good shape and he will be a live player.”
Line Of Duty is a 14/1 chance with most British firms for the Epsom Derby on June 1 .
Godolphin have won 16 British Classics, including the 1995 Epsom Derby with Lammtarra, who was trained by Saeed Bin Surour and raced in the colours of Shaikh Saeed Maktoum Al Maktoum.