A little like Derby winner Masar, the son of Baltic King spent the spring in Dubai where, unlike his illustrious stablemate, he enjoyed success in a competitive handicap, his first win since being equipped with the cheekpieces. Having finished third in last season’s Wolferton Handicap, Appleby probably turned his attention to this year’s renewal from an early stage, especially as the selection was forced to try and launch a challenge four horses wide on the home turn in the race won by Snoano 12 months ago.
Hopefully, he may enjoy a kinder passage from today’s draw and it could be a salient point that his creditable display 12 months ago was also his first run back from a spell in the Middle East.
CALYX (Ascot, 3.05) stunned clock watchers with an electrifying display on debut at Newmarket and it seems significant trainer John Gosden is happy to let his colt take his chance in this Group 2 just 10 days on.
The son of first-season sire Kingman, himself a Sussex Stakes and St James’s Palace Stakes winner, clocked sub 34 seconds for the final three furlongs on the July Course, fractions which stamped him as a serious player in the top juvenile contests this summer.
He could be a true superstar in waiting and I am hopeful he will display those qualities today.
As a sire, Scat Daddy was proving to be a formidable force at the Royal meeting prior to his premature death from a suspected heart attack three years ago and the classy LADY AURELIA (Ascot, 3.40) bids to extend her unbeaten course record to three to enhance his legacy.
This event appears sure to be run at a scorching gallop with Kachy likely to set an unrelenting early pace and that should again play to the strengths of Wesley Ward’s filly whose two previous trips to Berkshire have yielded victories by seven and three lengths respectively, huge margins given the standard and fierce competition of both this race 12 months ago and the Queen Mary the previous year.