HIGHBANK LEAVES RIVALS TOILING ON DEBUT

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Charlie Appleby earmarked next month’s Solario Stakes at Sandown Park as a potential target for Highbank who earned quotes for next year’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas after casting his rivals aside in impressive fashion to make a winning debut at Newmarket today. 

The Godolphin handler hinted at a possible outing in the Group Three contest on Saturday 20th August for the Kingman colt following his decisive victory in the Discover Newmarket British EBF Maiden Stakes. 

Having claimed last year’s race with subsequent Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf hero and French 2000 Guineas winner Modern Games as well as the 2020 renewal with Dhahabi the victory also provided Appleby with a third straight success in the seven-furlong prize.

Despite having more horses in front of him than behind approaching the final quarter of a mile the 4-1 chance swiftly turned on the afterburners under Jack Mitchell once in the clear before passing the post three and three quarter lengths clear of stablemate Bold Act. 

Following the race Highbank was introduced at 33-1 for the 2000 Guineas by Paddy Power while William Hill were suitably more impressed after quoting him at 25-1 for the same race 

Appleby, speaking away from the track, said: “He is a horse that we have got a bit of experience with the family with having had Bay Of Poets. 

“Whatever he did today there was going to be marked improvement. He had done some good work at home but I said to Jack (Mitchell) teach him to race the right way. Today was a learning day but his class prevailed. 

“He travelled very well and picked up well. I’ve not had chance to speak to Jack but visually it was impressive. 

“We liked the second horse as well so hopefully that is a useful pointer. We will keep him at seven for the moment as if he is going to be a Classic horse we want him to be doing a bit more over. I think he has got a lot of natural speed though. 

“We will probably look at something like the Solario Stakes and that option is there. I need to get back and have a chat with the lads before making any firm decisions.”

Dubai Love made the most of a drop down in class when scoring for the first time since making a winning debut at Nottingham in October 2019 when defying top-weight in the Clive Cox Racing Fillies’ Handicap.

Reverting back to seven furlongs having finished third in a mile Listed contest at Pontefract last time out the 7-4 favourite held on by a neck to consign Divine Magic to the runner-up spot in the race for the second year in succession. 

Marco Ghiani, winning rider, said of the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained mare: “She finished third in a Listed race. She jumped well and sat second for most of the race. 

“The other horse (Divine Magic) was coming but luckily I got first run on her. I thought the other horse might get there but she has held on well.”

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