It’s a quiet start to the week for me with plans being laid for bets later this week, especially with the return of the Turf season and Doncaster and of course the Dubai World Cup out at Meydan.
Talking of the Turf last years Derby hero Masar is reportedly due to start cantering again this week as he continues building up towards a racecourse return; Charlie Appleby’s colt has been off the track since his Epsom success. The Newmarket trainer said this week “He is in good shape and is stepping up each week out there (in Dubai). He will start cantering at the end of this week. He has done everything right, what we’ve asked of him. He still remains very exciting, going forward. The aim would be that we are probably looking towards Ascot, but there is still a lot of water to go under the bridge and we are not really putting an aim on when he will be back.”
Lah Ti Dar looks likely to make her seasonal debut in the Middleton Stakes at York in May. Talking this week trainer John Gosden said “She is in great form and we are looking towards the Middleton. We will start her off there and whether we go for the Pretty Polly after, I’m not sure, but that will be the initial route.”
Also at the John Gosden yard, Stradivarius is being readied for the new season. The plan is for another attempt at the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million bonus for the second successive season. Gosden reports of his star stayer “He is in great order and has just started cantering and building up his preparation, and all being well we go to the Yorkshire Cup. We’ve just been doing the usual canters on Warren Hill. He has had a great winter.”
The trainer has some big names to go to work with this season and also reports star mare Enable is “bigger and stronger” than ever as he plots a route back to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The Coronation Cup at Epsom is her likely starting point. He will be taking is slow with Calyx, who I think will be aimed at the Commonwealth Cup rather than the Guineas, saying of the 3yo “Calyx is in good form and has been pleasing us in every way. He is coming back from an injury and hasn’t run since June. You can’t just rush forward – you have got to go very diligently.”