In-form Appleby aims two at fillies’ Classic

Dubai: Godolphin handler Charlie Appleby saddles leading chances Soliloquy and Wild Illusion as he chases a first British Classic victory in the Group 1 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket Racecourse on Sunday.

The Englishman, who joined the all-powerful Dubai-owned stable in July 2013, has his Moulton Paddocks string in rousing form and having already rolled out 33 winners since the British season began last month.

Soliloquy was on the six winners Appleby sent out at last month’s important Craven Meeting to win the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes, an important trials for the fillies’ Classic in the UK and Europe, by 1 ¾ legnths.

Following that performance the daughter of Dubawi was supplemented into this race at a cost of £30,000.

Wild Illusion earned her Guineas ticket last October when she convincingly won the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac, France’s only Group 1 race for juvenile fillies, at Chantilly.

William Buick and James Doyle, Godolphin’s retained riders, will respectively partner Soliloquy and Wild Illusion.

Assessing the pair’s chances Appleby said: “We were delighted with Soliloquy in the Nell Gwyn Stakes. She has taken that race very well and has undergone a very straightforward preparation leading up to the 1000 Guineas.

“She was a nice two-year-old but it was only during the latter stages of the winter that she really started to come forward. Three weeks before the Nell Gwyn Stakes, the penny suddenly dropped and everything started to come to hand quickly.

“I think that she has continued that progression since her seasonal return and looks a strong individual now. She has made the running on both her wins but can drop in and take a lead as well. She is quite versatile and a straightforward filly to ride,” he added.

“It might be slightly quicker ground compared to the Craven meeting but it wouldn’t be a concern — she is a good-moving filly and I don’t think the going will be an excuse for many horses this weekend.

“Wild Illusion wintered out in Dubai and has done well from two to three. She brings Group 1 form to the table and her preparation has gone well,” said Appleby of the daughter of Dubawi.

“The 1000 Guineas has been the plan all winter. She is not a filly that you are going to get a good vibe from at home because she has never shown a great deal.

“Her work is nothing flash but she gets the job done and brings her ‘A’ game to the table when it comes to racing,” the trainer concluded.

Soliloquy and Wild Illusion face 13 rivals led by ante-post favourite, Happily, one of four runners representing Aidan O’Brien.

The champion Irish trainer, who is seeking a third straight 1000 Guineas victory, also saddles Group 1 Filliies’ Mile heroine, Laurens, and Anna Nerium, successful in the Listed European Free Handicap at Newmarket last month.

The O’Brien quartet is rounded-off by Who’ Steph, who was third in the Group 1 1,000 Guineas Trial Stakes at Leopardstown.

A second supplementary entry in the race is Dan’s Dream, winner of the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Newbury 13 days go.