Appleby yet to make Masar Royal Ascot decision

Appleby keeping faith with Masar

Trainer Charlie Appleby is assessing whether to opt for the Hardwicke Stakes or the Prince of Wales’s Stakes for Masar at Royal Ascot.

The 2018 Derby winner was given a timely racecourse gallop at Newmarket on Saturday and Appleby reported his charge to be in fine fettle as he continues to battle back from the leg injury suffered after last year’s Epsom showpiece glory.

Appleby said he has come through all the hurdles on his recovery and now the stable must decide if he heads to the Hardwicke or the Prince of Wales’s later this month.

He said: ‘He has done plenty of conditioning work, and this was the first time he has been asked the question.

He galloped out well there.

Physically he has done great.

‘He is a man now and he looks great.

He has done everything asked of him, and today was the acid test.

I was pleased with what I saw.

First and foremost, it is great to get him back here, because it has been a long road.

‘I was pleased with the way he travelled into the gallop and he picked up well.

He has just had a nice, healthy blow – and that will have sharpened him up mentally.

‘ Masar currently holds entries for both the Hardwicke and the Prince of Wales’s at Ascot and will be assessed in the next week to 10 days before a decision is made.

Appleby added on Sky Sports: ‘He has been off the track more than a year, and that just puts him right.

He is in the Hardwicke as well as the Prince of Wales’s, and the question will be answered next week – firstly how he comes out of this, and then his next bit of work on Wednesday.

‘That piece of work will be the deciding factor – whether we head for the Prince of Wales’s or the Hardwicke.

As a mile-and-a-half Classic winner dropping back to a mile and a quarter is always good for the page and as we saw in the Craven, he doesn’t lack pace.’