Racing: Appleby’s thoughts already turning towards autumn’s Park Stakes

Charlie Appleby
Charlie Appleby
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Charlie Appleby identified the Park Stakes at Doncaster in September as the most likely starting point for Charming Thought.

Last year’s Middle Park Stakes winner has not been seen this season after suffering a setback in March during his preparation for the 2000 Guineas.

Having recently stepped up his work at home, the Newmarket handler has provisionally pencilled in the seven-furlong Group Two contest for Charming Thought’s comeback.

Appleby said: “Charming Thought is back cantering and the plan is to aim him at the Park Stakes at Doncaster.

“He looks a totally different horse to look at compared to how he was in the spring.

“Hopefully, it will be the springboard to an autumn campaign, where we will look forward to getting him ready for Champions Day.

“This race will tell us if we run him over six furlongs or step him up to a mile on Champions Day.”

Although Charming Thought missed Royal Ascot, Appleby claims a trip to the prestigious meeting would have been unlikely even if things had panned out differently.

He said: “There is never a great time to get a setback with a horse, but with the ground the way it was at Ascot he wouldn’t have been running there so he has not really missed anything.”

Karl Burke is likely to stick to his original plan and send Empress Stakes winner Katie’s Diamond over to France for a shot at the Prix Six Perfections.

The two-year-old filly, who was purchased by Qatar Racing after registering an impressive win on her debut at Redcar, maintained her unbeaten status with a narrow victory in the six-furlong Listed contest at Newmarket on Saturday.

Burke says a trip to Deauville for a crack at the Listed seven-furlong affair, won last year by the Roger Varian-trained Tigrilla, remains top of the agenda.