Godolphin may have had limited guns to fire in this season’s Classics, yet Charlie Appleby can start to look ahead to next season with Dance Sequence, who was foot-perfect on her debut in the Blandford Bloodstock Maiden Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket.
The imposing daughter of Dubawi showed immense promise in seven-furlong contest under William Buick, settling the 5-6 favourite at the back of the field before powering home on the far rail to score by half a length from Upscale.
The victory margin did not do justice to her superiority and Paddy Power and Betfair installed her at 33-1 for the next season’s 1000 Guineas.
“The mindset, although she was favourite, sometimes you want to be nearer to the fore than at the back,” said Appleby.
“William and I both were in agreement, she is a filly for the future and ride her to do it the right way round.
“William just rode her with a lot of confidence. She was a bit green early doors anyway, and she wouldn’t have done very much of that at home to be fair to her.
“There will be a marked improvement from that. To come off the pace like that, you can probably mark that performance up a little bit more, so that was a pleasing debut.”
Race The Wind, the other Godolphin runner in the six-strong field, finished fourth in the contest.
Appleby added: “The other filly would have been more forward than this one, but the winner is the classier filly.
“I was pleased with the way she picked up to come off the pace there. She is a filly who will get the mile at the backend of the season, for sure.
“She has an intelligent head on her and plenty of scope.”
Asked whether she would be one of the better ones at Moulton Paddocks, he laughed: “We don’t know how high up she is in the pecking order – we have just started opening the box up!
“But, yes, she is one of the better ones. The attributes are there. She is a Dubawi, she’s got the scope, the pedigree and she has apparently got the engine, to date.
“There is a big step to go to the Guineas, but it’s a good start. She has a lovely attitude. You like them to do it like that – she’s learned plenty today and it is all very well winning by 10 lengths but you don’t learn very much.”
Former jump jockey Robert Thornton sports a beard these days – “It’s so no one can recognise me”, he quipped – and was on hand to see Buick record a treble on the card when Royal Charter took the Racing TV Fillies’ Handicap.
The William Haggas-trained three-year-old had showed up well at Haydock last time and stayed on stoutly to score by a neck from Chealamy as the 2-1 favourite.
Thornton, racing manager for Apple Tree Stud, who own the daughter of Expert Eye, said: “She has won two now and hopefully she is progressive, but we are just going to have to mind her because she is quite hot.
“We will look after her and let her progress. Small steps, with a view to looking at Listed races at the end of the season. Something like that would be Plan A.”
Following Audience’s success in the Group Three Criterion Stakes, John and Thady Gosden completed a double when Spring Fever romped to a five-lengths success in the Mr Adrian Austin Memorial Filles’ Handicap in the hands of Robert Havlin.
A winner on her handicap debut at Redcar, she was a fair runner-up at Salisbury and easily justified 8-15 favouritism.
Havlin said: “She got into a lovely rhythm and there was no pace, so I let her get on with it.
“She has got a good turn of foot and I was able to sit on her to the three (furlong marker) and she quickened up between the three and two and put it to bed.
“She seems to be improving and she likes summer ground as well.”