Charlie Appleby has going concerns for Frontiersman at Newbury

Fri 27 Oct 2017

Charlie Appleby has his fingers crossed the ground will not be too soft for Frontiersman in his bid to atone for a disappointing effort 12 moths ago in the Worthington's 'Indigo Leisure' Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

The son of Dubawi was sent off 7-2 favourite in a field of 16 last year for the Group Three contest over a mile and a half, registered as the St Simon Stakes, but could only finish sixth.

Frontiersman has been placed several times in Group races, including in the top tier this term, but his most significant victory only came on his latest start when he took the Listed Godolphin Stakes, sponsored by his owners, a month ago.

Appleby reports the four-year-old to be in fine shape, but is just hoping the ground can dry out to aid his cause.

"His work was good on Wednesday and it was just a case of keeping an eye on the ground. Although he won on good to soft at Newmarket, he has been beaten on soft ground twice at Newbury," said the Newmarket handler.

"He has come out of his last race well. We pitched him in this race last year, but it was probably at that stage of his career where it was a bit too soon. If he puts a performance in like he did on his last start at Newmarket he will be bang up there."

Godolphin are also represented by Best Solution, who relishes plenty of cut in the ground.

The three-year-old colt was runner-up in a Group One in Munich two starts ago and his trainer Saeed bin Suroor expects him to go well.

"Best Solution has always run his best races on softer ground, so conditions at Newbury should suit," bin Suroor told www.godolphin.com.

"This looks a good race for him in terms of class and trip. He has been working well and has a good chance."

Ayrad tries his hand back in Pattern company after an emphatic all-the-way win in a Salisbury handicap.

The Roger Charlton-trained six-year-old is a dual Listed winner but has yet to strike at a higher level. The Dalakhani gelding is also stepping up to a mile and a half for the first time since July 2016.

"He's been doing good and took the race very well. We are very happy with his condition and the way he came back," said Tony Nerses, racing manager for owners Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar.

"He's run over a mile an a half in the past and I don't think the distance is an issue.

"He's a Group-class horse but somehow things haven't gone right for him for whatever reason. He's been knocking on the door but so far it hasn't happened."

Across The Stars has not got his head in front since lifting the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last season.

However, connections feel the Sir Michael Stoute-trained four-year-old is in the form of his life.

"He's in the best shape he's been in all year," said Bruce Raymond, racing manager for owner Saeed Suhail.

Mountain Bell has been sidelined since finishing second in this race 12 months ago, but her trainer Ralph Beckett has the four-year-old filly primed for her comeback.

"She had a problem earlier in the season, which is why she has not been seen out before now, but I am happy with the way she is now," said Beckett.

"There was a lot to like about her performances last year and she showed she was very tough."

Brian Meehan was delighted Raheen House got the verdict at Ascot last time out, albeit in the stewards' room, when going down by a nose to Weekender. That came after he failed to cut any ice in the St Leger.

"He ran a great race last time out at Ascot having deservedly won the Listed race,," the Manton trainer told brianmeehan.com.

"He has been in cracking form since and I hope he can be just as competitive again."

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