Dubai: Charlie Appleby and William Buick combined as Master Of The Seas led home a Godolphin one-two in the Group 3 Craven Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday afternoon.
Finishing second was another Appleby trainee in La Barrosa, who ran in three-quarters of a length behind in the hands of James Doyle. Buick turned in a solid performance and kept looking out for a break after finding himself holed in against the rail in the 1600m contest. He crucially found racing room going into The Dip and his partner began to reel in the leaders with a solid turn of foot that saw him head bannermate La Barrosa 100m from the finish.
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A further three lengths back in third was Andrew Balding’s Mystery Smiles with Silvestre de Sousa up.
Appleby said: “I’ll be honest, it wasn’t quite how we planned it as the plan was for La Barrosa to pop out and set a nice gallop and maybe come up the middle to give everyone racing room, but it didn’t materialise. He ended up just over-racing, but he was a bit fresh as well. I was pleased with how he ran.
“Master Of The Seas was the class act in the race, I was never disappointed with him in Meydan as our eyes were on a European campaign.
“William had to ask him a few questions there, he had to go through the gears going into the dip which is hard for horses, but he’s very well balanced. He picked up well and went through the line strong.
“It was very pleasing by the pair of them. The hood helped Master Of The Seas settle and we’ll probably keep it on for the Guineas.
“I’ve been very pleased with One Ruler’s prep as well so it’s a nice position to be in to have two or three nice chances for the Guineas.”
Appleby and Buick had opened their account with Creative Force, who landed the 1,200m Handicap from Karl Burke’s Significantly, the ride of Clifford Lee. The pair claimed a third on the card after Al Waqidi quite sensationally justified his top billing to win the 2,000m British EBF ‘Confined’ Novice Stakes by half a length from Ralph Beckett’s Scope with Rossa Ryan up.