GBI RACING

Wild Illusion chasing Ribblesdale honours for Charlie Appleby

Charlie Appleby is hoping for more big race glory with Wild Illusion

Charlie Appleby is hoping Wild Illusion can continue his dream run of form in Thursday’s Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Having claimed Godolphin’s first Derby success with Masar, he tasted Group One glory again on Tuesday when Blue Point downed the well-fancied Battaash in the King’s Stand Stakes.

Wild Illusion is the clear form pick for the Ribblesdale having won a Group One herself last year in France and she finished second in the Oaks last time out.

“She lost nothing in defeat in the Oaks or 1000 Guineas and as a past Group One winner, she has a 3lb penalty to carry,” said Appleby.

“We were confident going into the Oaks, but take nothing away from the winner at Epsom (Forever Together) who was better on the day and outstayed us.

“I felt there was a good distance between her and the third, and the rest of the field were left behind.

“I’m confident Wild Illusion stays the trip and probably being back on a sounder surface will suit as it was soft enough at Epsom when we were stepping her up in trip for the first time,” he told At The Races.

Wild Illusion heads the ante-post market and next best in the betting is Sir Michael Stoute’s Sun Maiden.

She was a 12-length winner of a Salisbury maiden on her second start but connections decided to skip the Oaks thinking it came too soon in her career.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner Khalid Abdullah, said: “She was really impressive at Salisbury, but it was only a maiden. She won that by 12 lengths and she looked a bit inexperienced there.

“Sir Michael has given her more time to mature both mentally and physically.

“She is coming on and, like everybody else will be saying, she is in good form and we are hoping for a good run.

“We are going to find out if her inexperience at that level will hold her back, but if she has got enough talent she will be all right.”

Others with claims include Clive Cox’s Perfect Clarity, winner of the Lingfield Oaks Trial but a disappointment in the Oaks and Ed Vaughan’s Dancing Brave Bear, second in the Musidora at York.

The Norfolk Stakes sees another Wesley Ward hotpot in Shang Shang Shang, who was an easy winner over four and a half furlongs on his debut at Keeneland.

Ward has only won the race once, in 2013, with No Nay Never.

Tim Easterby’s Vintage Brut won the Listed National Stakes at Sandown on his latest outing and was bought by King Power Racing for £280,000 at the Goffs Sale on Monday.

“He’s very fast, like a rocket, I’m sure he’s going to run very well,” said Easterby.

Richard Spencer, who won last year’s Coventry Stakes with Rajasinghe, is represented by Rumble Inthejungle, winner of his only run to date at Salsibury.

“He won very well at Salisbury first time out and the form of that race has worked out well, I think two winners have come out of that race already,” said Spencer.

“He’s taken a big step forward from his debut and I think he’ll run a big race.”

Appleby’s Key Victory is one of the leading players in the Hampton Court Stakes while stablemate Cross Counter heads the betting for the King George V Stakes.

Crack On Crack On is well fancied for the Britannia Stakes in which King Rufus tops the weights for Mark Johnston.

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