Champagne Stakes preview: Appleby hoping for Magic show

Sat 16 Sep 2017

By Racinguk.comstaff

Charlie Appleby believes Mythical Magic can provide him with another success in the Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes at Doncaster on Saturday.

Appleby has won two of the past four runnings of the Group Two contest. Subsequent Breeders' Cup hero Outstrip claimed the prize for the Godolphin trainer in 2013, while Emotionless was a similarly dominant winner two years ago.

Mythical Magic confirmed the promise of his impressive Ascot debut success with a Listed triumph in France a month ago.

"We've been very pleased with him on his two starts to date and having won on good to soft and soft ground, ground conditions are of no concern," Appleby said. "He's a horse we loved in the spring, but he's a really imposing horse and he just went a bit weak on us during the summer.

"We gave him a bit of time to strengthen up and now I think he's ready to step up into this grade. For me, he's the one they've all got to beat and it would be great for a colt like him if we can keep his unbeaten record intact."

Dream Today puts his lofty reputation on the line. Mark Johnston's youngster is bred in the purple as a full-brother to this year's 2000 Guineas third and subsequent Group One winner Al Wukair and was thrown in at the deep end on his racecourse debut in the Convivial Maiden at the Ebor Festival at York.

He opened his account at the first time of asking with a most impressive display and connections are looking forward to testing the water at a higher level this weekend.

Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father, said: "We really liked him in the spring and then he had a setback which kept him off until the second half of the season.

"He's always worked like a very good horse, which is why we decided to run him in the Convivial first time out. We were pretty confident going to York and he confirmed what he'd been showing us at home on the track.

"This is still a big step up, going from a maiden straight into a Group Two, so we'll find out how good he is. He's got some lofty entries for the back-end of the season and we'll find out on Saturday whether they're realistic or not."

The most experienced horse in the eight-strong field is the James Tate-trained Hey Gaman.

The New Approach colt claimed his third win from six starts in the Listed Denford Stakes at Newbury on his latest outing.

"All his runs when the ground has been on the soft side have been good, so hopefully the ground stays that way for Saturday," said Tate. "He's improving and I thought it was a good performance running into a headwind at Newbury. He sets the standard and I think it will take a good one to beat him."

Red Mist was just a short head behind Hey Gaman at Newbury and is set for the rematch.

"I'd like to see the ground dry out, but he's in flying form," trainer Simon Crisford told At The Races. "I think the ground was against him last time. I can't help but feel on quicker ground he can use his turn of foot.

"He's very smart, he's doing well and hopefully he can run a good race."

Aidan O'Brien saddles Mendelssohn and Seahenge.

Grand Koonta (Clive Cox) and rank outsider Island Sound (Heather Main) are the other contenders.

For the latest odds, colours and form, click here

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