04 October 2022

Naval Power to spearhead Appleby’s weekend HQ team

04 October 2022

Charlie Appleby is excited to see how Naval Power copes with his step up to the top table when he runs in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

The Moulton Paddocks handler has won two of the last three renewals of the seven-furlong Group One with Pinatubo (2019) and Native Trail (2021), who both went on to become champion two-year-old.

However, Appleby believes the beauty of this year’s Dewhurst is the juvenile top-spot is still up for grabs and he is keen to see how his unbeaten son of Teofilo does now stepping up from Listed level.

“I think the Dewhurst this year is probably going to be the race which crowns the champion two-year-old,” said Appleby.

“Who will be champion two-year-old this year is still a bit of a headscratcher. Aidan’s horse (Little Big Bear), before he met with his setback, would probably be the horse who would turn up to the Dewhurst as the one to beat.

“I don’t know where exactly we are with all the two-year-olds, but I think there is a two-year-old ready to burst on the scene and become the exciting horse for next year and we’ve got a colt there who is four from four and done nothing wrong. He now has the chance to go up to the top table and prove himself worthy at that level and put himself into the Classic picture for next season.

“One thing Naval Power has in his favour is he has won over seven and beyond seven as well. He stepped up to a mile under a penalty and got the job done there.  Wherever he is in the race I would be confident that once they hit the rising ground and stamina comes into play, as it does over seven furlongs, he has an abundance of it. Whether he is classy enough we will see.”

This year it is exciting, I don't think there are any bubbles to be burst

On the opposition he added: “I don’t think there is anything that will get him out of his comfort zone personally. I think there are sharper horses on pedigree and what they have achieved for sure. But as you know, when you hit that rising ground you want to be able to see that seven out strong. There will be horses in there that we’ll be seeing as Commonwealth Cup horses and there will be horses we will be seeing in the Guineas and beyond.

“This year it is exciting, I don’t think there are any bubbles to be burst, I think everyone is there to make the next step and being a part of it will be exciting.”

In the supporting Group races on the Future Champions Day Appleby is yet to decide who will represent his powerful string in the Zetland Stakes and Autumn Stakes.

The Godolphin handler is bidding for a hat-trick in the Autumn Stakes which he has won in three of the last five years and was claimed 12 months ago by the subsequently ill-fated 2000 Guineas hero Coroebus.

Flying Honours and Local Dynasty are in both races while Silver Knott is in the Autumn Stakes.

Appleby continued: “Silver Knott is a horse that we will contemplate whether to run in the Autumn Stakes, he is a horse I have also got on the radar for the Breeders’ Cup. People might say he was a little disappointing on his previous start, but conditions were not there to suit him in the the Champagne.

“Local Dynasty is a horse who that’s got natural pace as well so he’ll be looked upon as a Autumn horse, but he’s in the Zetland as well as he has a bit of a page on him that would suggest a step up in trip might suit.

“Flying Honours was very impressive when breaking his maiden and then was also impressive when winning a Listed race. It was a disappointing run (last time), but for me it was a very messy race at Newmarket that day and unfortunately there was no pace in the race. He’s come out of the race well and will probably look at being a Zetland type of a horse on Saturday.”

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