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2019 Princess Of Wales Tattersalls Stakes tips - Appleby's 6/4 Derby hero can get back on track in Thursday's Newmarket feature

Masar can get back to winning ways in Thursday's Group Two feature race at Newmarket.

Brian Healy takes a runner-by-runner look ahead to the first day feature race of the Newmarket July Festival meeting.

One of two Group Two contests going to post on the opening day of the 2019 July Festival meeting, the Princess Of Wales's Tattersalls Stakes heads to post at 3.35pm as the fourth race of the afternoon on a high-quality racecard at Newmarket.

Unfolding over 1m 4f of the July Course, this classy prize will be shown live as part of Thursday’s ITV Racing broadcast, and a potential field of eight runners could face the starter in a bid to land the £56,000-plus first prize pot.

Brian Healy looks ahead to Thursday’s opening day feature at Newmarket on Thursday, and he gives his runner-by-runner thoughts on all eight intended runners for the afternoon’s main event.

The field is headed is 2018 Epsom Derby hero MASAR (6/4, Coral) who was absent following his Classic heroics for more than one year prior to returning at Royal Ascot last month where the New Approach colt contested the Hardwicke Stakes.

Charlie Appleby’s charge had been progressive last term, building on his reappearance to win the Craven Stakes in fine style prior to finishing third in the 2000 Guineas behind Saxon Warrior. He had to dig deep to fend off the challenge of Dee Ex Bee at Epsom, but that form looks even better now with Mark Johnston’s runner-up going on to win twice this term and making the frame in the Ascot Gold Cup; while third-placed Roaring Lion subsequently won four Group Ones.

His reappearance fifth in the Hardwicke was quite a creditable result given he stumbled badly leaving the stalls and almost unseated James Doyle at the start. But the pair recovered and they were still challenging into the last furlong before weakening, and lack of a run was probably a large factor in his defeat.


He ought to be much sharper now with that run under his belt, but of course there is a slight concern that turning out relatively quickly - 19 days since that run - he may still be feeling those exertions. But if he is none the worse for the return to action then he could take plenty of beating and he can reverse the form from the Hardwicke with Mirage Dancer (9/4, William Hill) who finished third.

Sir Michael Stoute’s charge had had the benefit of a run heading into Ascot, with the Frankel horse having struck on his return at Goodwood in a Listed contest where he ran out a clear winner over Danehill Kodiac to win the Tapster Stakes.

A dual-winner last term, scoring both successes at the Sussex track which included the Group Three Glorious Stakes, he had got to within a half-length of Best Solution over this course and distance in the Racing Club Stakes on his previous start; and he made the smart Young Rascal pull out all the stops when the pair clashed in the Group Three Legacy Cup at Newbury prior to posting a disappointing run behind Exultant in the Hong Kong Vase.

Having got to the front at Ascot at the two furlong pole where he was still travelling well, he couldn’t match the efforts of the front pair who breezed by him and he appeared to find less than expected when asked. Despite being carried right by the eventual winner, he looked held in the last half-furlong.

A repeat of that effort gives him solid claims, but if Masar improves as expected on his reappearance in the same race then there’s no guarantee that he’ll be able to confirm places with the Godolphin runner who could improve past him.

Morando (10/1, Coral) also finished ahead of Masar in that Ascot contest, but Andrew Balding’ charge could struggle to finish ahead of him on this occasion and the Kendargent gelding needs the heavens to open if he’s to get competitive.

He is undoubtedly a very smart performer at his best, as he showed when dead-heating with Young Rascal last term in the Legacy Cup where he finished just ahead of Mirage Dancer, and he made a winning return to action when sluicing through the Chester mud to win the Ormonde Stakes by eight lengths from Kew Gardens.

Quicker ground the last twice has been a big factor in defeats at Epsom and Ascot respectively, and despite meeting with interference in the Hardwicke Stakes latest he was unlikely to trouble the judge. 

All but one of his five career wins have come on ground with soft in the description, and the prospect of much quicker ground at Newmarket on Thursday very much goes against his chances. He is entitled to give a good account, and at his best he can be competitive; but given underfoot conditions he is likely to find a couple too good once again and he could struggle to get competitive on this ground.


Mark Johnston could saddle two in the race with Communique (20/1, Coral) and Baghdad both intended runners for the Middleham trainer.

Communique was a regular winner last term during a busy campaign, winning five times in all which included in Listed company at Newmarket, and he went close in a Group Three at Ascot in October when just beaten behind Laraaib before rounding off his campaign by finishing ten lengths’ fifth behind Morando.

The Casamento colt looked in need of the return at Newbury behind Marmelo, but he stepped up to beat Defoe next time at Newmarket to win the Group Two Jockey Club although subsequent outings behind the same rival have been underwhelming.

Probably flattered by his recent success, he failed to beat a rival home latest behind Defoe in the Hardwicke Stakes and a big bounce-back will be required. 

Baghdad (13/2, Paddy Power) comes into the race eyeing up a hat-trick of wins having beaten the reopposing Ben Vrackie in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes, and Mark Johnston’s charge can give another good account despite this representing a rise in class.

The Frankel colt is a relatively lightly-raced individual having had just ten career starts; he has won five of them which include two last term and two in the current campaign.

Third on his reappearance at Newcastle in April, he has since won here on the Rowley Mile course with a defeat of Corelli, and he doubled up his tally for the season as well as mounting a successful defence of his Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes crown when outpointing Ben Vrackie at Ascot latest where he struck by a short-head.

Having looked an easy winner, he was all-out to hold on at the line, and with that being Ben Vrackie’s (12/1, Paddy Power) first run of the campaign, he could struggle to confirm those places with John Gosden’s charge likely to come on for the run.

Another by Frankel, the Gosden runner showed good progression last term, winning at Lingfield before chasing home Maid Up in the Group Three March Stakes at Goodwood, although that was a messy race.

Having disappointed next time in the Mallard Handicap at Doncaster, the Frankel colt posted back-to-back third place efforts behind Nearly Caught in the Listed Jockey Club Rose Bowl, and also back in a handicap in Newmarket behind Rock Eagle on his final start in the Old Rowley Cup.

He should strip much fitter for that Ascot reappearance where he almost overcame a slow start and every chance he can overturn that form with the Johnston runner although he’ll need to find some improvement to trouble some proven Group performers.



Dashing Willoughby (16/1, Paddy Power) boasts a very progressive profile, and Andrew Balding’s charge has had just six starts to his name so could conceivably have much more to offer still.

A debut winner last term, he finished eighth in the Vertem Futurity Trophy on his final start of the campaign, and he returned to action with a solid runner-up effort behind King Ottakar at Newbury in April.

Subsequently third at Chester behind Sir Dragonet, he posted an excellent win in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, beating Barbados, and he can further improve on the back of that performance.

However, his debut win on the all-weather aside, his form has all come on ground with soft in the description including his Royal Ascot success, and it remains to be seen whether the Nathaniel colt will be as effective on this quicker surface and dropping back in trip.

Completing the field, Desert Encounter (20/1, Ladbrokes) rounded off last season by winning the Grade One Canadian International Stakes from fellow raider Thundering Blue; but David Simcock’s charge had also enjoyed a productive campaign prior to that win which included success at Listed level as well as making the frame in a Group Three contest behind Young Rascal at Newbury where he finished just behind Mirage Dancer.

Having run twice at Meydan in March, finishing third to Old Persian in the Dubai City Of Gold, he failed to beat a rival home behind the same horse in the Dubai Sheema Classic; and he again trailed home last of the runners when finishing eighth behind Crystal Ocean in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.

Possibly just rusty there after three months off, he could do better with his sights eased slightly. However, he’ll have to be at the top of his game if he is to be competitive in this company although a return to the longer trip and better ground will be in his favour.

VERDICT


Plenty went wrong at the start of the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot for returning Epsom Derby hero MASAR (6/4, Coral) who stumbled badly and almost unseated James Doyle leaving the stalls; but the pair recovered and remained competitive until well inside the final furlong before a lack of fitness told late on.

Charlie Appleby’s charge ought to prove a lot sharper for that reappearance, and while there is a slight worry that this outing could come too soon less than three weeks on from those exertions, if he is none the worse for that reappearance effort and can build on the run then he could take plenty of beating here.

2019 Princess Of Wales's Tattersalls Stakes selection - MASAR (6/4, Coral)


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2019 Princess Of Wales Tattersalls Stakes tips - Appleby's 6/4 Derby hero can get back on track in Thursday's Newmarket feature

Brian Healy takes a runner-by-runner look ahead to the first day feature race of the Newmarket July Festival meeting.

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