New London back on track for Fred Archer assignment

Charlie Appleby is excited to see St Leger runner-up New London make his return to action in the Cavani Menswear Sartorial Sprint Fred Archer Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

The Dubawi colt has won four of his six starts to date, including a Group Three success in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood last summer.

He was a hot favourite to secure Classic glory at Doncaster in September, but passed the post third behind Eldar Eldarov before picking up the silver medal following a stewards’ inquiry.

New London has undergone wind surgery and is fitted with a tongue-tie as he bids to make it four from four at Newmarket on his first competitive outing in nearly 10 months.

“New London has had wind surgery since his last run and we have been very pleased with him at home,” Appleby told the Godolphin website.

“He has been for two racecourse gallops and this looks a good starting point for a campaign that should progress through the summer and into the autumn.”

The Moulton Paddocks handler also saddles Kemari, who was runner-up to stablemate Rebel’s Romance in this Listed contest 12 months ago.

Appleby added: “Kemari put up a couple of decent efforts behind Rebel’s Romance last season, including in this race, and continued to perform well in Dubai over the winter.

“He is a solid yardstick and should run his race again.”

The biggest threat to New London appears to be Al Aasy, who is one of two William Haggas-trained runners set to return from 420 days off the track on the July course this weekend.

Al Aasy, who finished a neck second to Pyledriver in the 2021 Coronation Cup at Epsom, has not been seen since landing the Buckhounds Stakes at Ascot on May 7 of last year, the same afternoon as Aldaary impressed in the Spring Trophy at Haydock.

The latter is the likely favourite for the Cavani Menswear Fashion Face-Off Frenzy Criterion Stakes, if he is given the green light to take his chance.

“We need soft ground for Aldaary, I declared him when it was raining. The ground is on the slow side at Newmarket, but whether that remains the case we’ll see,” said Haggas.

“We can make a decision as late as we need to, but as long as it’s not fast I’d say he’ll probably run because he needs to get going.

“Al Aasy is the same, he likes a bit of cut in the ground, but he needs to start.

“They’ve both been training well, so I’m hopeful they’ll run well.”

Other Criterion hopefuls include Charlie Hills’ defending champion Pogo, Andrew Balding’s Berkshire Shadow – fifth in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot last week – and Eve Johnson Houghton’s Jumby, who bids for back-to-back Group Three wins after landing the John of Gaunt at Haydock three weeks ago.

Johnson Houghton said: “We swerved the Wokingham to run in the Criterion. I think and hope he has more than half a chance.”

Appleby’s Star Of Mystery is a warm order for the first of the seven races on the – the Listed Maureen Brittain Memorial Empress Fillies’ Stakes.

Second on her Doncaster debut, the half-sister to Group One winners Althiqa and Mysterious Night went one better with a 11-length verdict at Haydock on her second start to earn herself a rise in class.

Appleby said: “Star Of Mystery was impressive at Haydock and we feel that she has come forward again since.

“This looks the right opportunity for her to step up to Listed company and will hopefully point us towards the rest of the summer.”

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