Charlie Appleby is counting on a drop in class to act as the perfect confidence booster for Emotionless in the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on Friday.
After looking to have the world at his feet with an impressive victory in the Champagne Stakes on his second start, the three-year-old ended last season on a low-key note when trailing home last in the Dewhurst Stakes, after which it was discovered he had sustained a knee injury.
Having missed an outing in the 2,000 Guineas the son of Shamardal returned to action in last month’s St James’s Palace Stakes where he finished fifth behind Galileo Gold, a run which the Newmarket handler expects his dual winner to build on in the Group Three contest.
Appleby said: “I’m pleased with the way he goes into this race, but I was pleased with the way how he went into the St James’s Palace Stakes.
“That was a big ask taking on three Classic winners on soft ground on his first start of the year. I don’t feel disappointed with that run, he was a bit fresh and got tired in that ground.
“He kept at it on ground that not many were coming from behind on.
“He comes into this race in good order and we are certain we can get him where we want him and if he puts in the sort of performance he did in the Champagne he should go close.
“He is a big horse and he is going to better at four, but at this level he should be very competitive. It would be nice for us to get his confidence back.”
Connections of Buratino are pinning their hopes on a step back up to a mile seeing him return to the level of form that saw him land last year’s Coventry Stakes.
Although well held on his sole start over the trip in the Guineas, the Mark Johnston-trained three-year-old has failed to feature in three subsequent outings dropped back to six furlongs.
Assistant trainer Charlie Johnston said: “He has obviously been disappointing this season.
“After his run in the Guineas he came back sprinting and although his run at Haydock was OK his runs at Newcastle and Newbury were disappointing.
“We are trying going back up to a mile on the basis that the Guineas is the Guineas and maybe in this sort of grade it is worth trying a mile again.
“It is hard to be confident on his recent form, but it would just be nice to see him back to the level he was last year.”
Thikriyaat, one of two runners in the race for Sir Michael Stoute alongside Forge, found only Sussex Stakes third Ribchester too strong for him in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: “He is a good progressive horse that has got a great attitude.
“We are hoping the ground won’t be too fast for him. We decided on the mile over sticking at seven furlongs. It was felt that with a better draw at Ascot he would have gone closer.
“It was good to see Ribchester give the Jersey form a boost on Wednesday.”
Saeed bin Suroor believes Promising Run has done well physically since her run in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot as she bids to open her account for the campaign.
He said: “She ran really well in her last race at Ascot and has worked well a few times since then.
“She is doing good and is physically better than before. The ground is fine for her and she is in good form.
“It’s a tough race but it’s the right race for her.”
While the Mick Channon-trained Czabo found the step up to Group One level too much to cope with on her last start, a drop in class is anticipated to make her much more competitive on this occasion.
Michael Channon junior said: “She is tough in the right grade and her form is there to be seen. We probably over-faced her last time as she is probably a Listed or Group Three class filly.
“She is a three-year-old and is improving all the time. She wouldn’t want it rattling quick and she would prefer a bit of cut in the ground.”