Dubai: Trainer Charlie Appleby has described Masar as a ‘horse with a bright future’ after the exciting son of New Approach pulverised his rivals to gift Godolphin with a maiden victory in the Group 3 Craven Stakes, a notable trial for the first Classic of the 2018 British Season, the Group 1 2,000 Guineas (May 5).
Under a positive ride by William Buick, Masar grabbed the lead in the 1,400 metre contest and settled into cruise control at the head of the six-horse field.
The John Gosden-trained Roaring Lion, the 8/13 favourite and winner of three of his four juvenile starts, including the Royal Lodge Stakes, raced in Masar’s slipstream waiting to pounce.
However, Masar, who disappointed on his dirt debut at Meydan during the Dubai World Cup Carnival, bounced back to his best form on the Newmarket grass, to power away approaching the line for a dominant 9-length victory over White Mocca, the mount of Ryan Moore.
Roaring Lion, the mount of Oisin Murphy, had no answer at all and could only finish a head back in third.
British bookmakers were quick to take note of Masar’s talent and cut him to odds of 7/1 for the Guineas, a race that Appleby is yet to win although Godolphin have won it twice in the past with the Saeed Bin Surour-trained Mark of Esteem (1996) and Island Sands (1999).
Appleby, who had dominated the three-day Craven meeting, was delighted with the winner told Racing UK: “He’s a horse we held in high regard as a two-year-old.
“What I liked about the horse today was his demeanour. He’s growing up all the time and has done a professional job.
“A Derby horse? We’ll find out but he’s certain inly a horse with a bright future,” the trainer added.
Buick echoed Appleby’s sentiments, and added: “He felt great and he relaxed beautifully in front. “I don’t think I’ve ridden many horses who have handled the dip and undulations as well as he did. It was a really good performance and an exciting one.
He feels like the finished article now.”
Appleby and Buick head to next month’s Guineas meeting with strong claims in both the colt’s and fillies’ Classics following Soliloquy’s impressive victory in the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket on Wednesday.
“It’s great to have quality horses with quality breeding behind them,” added Buick. “They give you a lot to look forward to when they run this well.”
Earlier in the afternoon, Sawwaah won the 1,600m Wood Ditton Maiden Stakes in impressive fashion under a strong closing ride by Dane O’Neill.
The winner ran in the colours of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance.
The Group 3 Abernant Stakes was won for the second year running by the Kevin Ryan-trained Brando.
Ryan said: “He was due to go to Dubai, but his last piece of work wasn’t where I wanted him to be, so the owners said don’t run him.
“The last 10 days he’s turned the corner and has really come to himself. I think we’ll have to space out his runs more this year. He ran so well in the July Cup last year (finished third) and it comes so soon after Royal Ascot. Do I sacrifice one for the other? I’ll discuss it with the owners.
“We may go back to York next for the Duke of York. It went pear-shaped last year (finished last of 12), but he has good form there. Nothing’s set in stone yet.”