Apollo One victory may launch European adventures
Apollo One can look forward to being sent on his travels next season after returning to winning ways in the Weatherbys TBA Conditions Stakes at Salisbury.
Campaigned at Group Three and Listed level on his last two starts, the Peter Charalambous-trained Equiano colt took advantage of a return to calmer waters to make his first start over six furlongs a triumphant one in the feature contest.
Although one of the first off the bridle, Apollo One (9-4) – who is out of the Newmarket handler’s 11-time winner Boonga Roogeta – picked up well to deny last-time-out Ascot scorer Dark Shift by three-quarters of a length.
Charalambous said: “I don’t know what happened last time at Doncaster, but Martin (Harley) said he gave him one beautiful feel out there and that he is definitely a Group horse.
“He said he loved the soft ground. That is his last run of the season, and next year we will probably have some fun in France on soft ground.
“As he has got stronger he has felt like he is a six-and-a-half-furlong horse, so I thought we will drop him in here. He was always going to take a bit of a tank, (then) I knew he would pick up.
“It would be nice for his mum if he could win a Listed race in France, or a little Group Three.”
David Menuisier celebrated a two-year-old double, initiated by newcomer Belloccio (11-1), who got up by a neck in the opening division of the PKF Francis Clark British Novice Stakes.
The Pulborough trainer said: “He had been working really well, but I don’t train them to win first time out – and they have to be good to do that.
“If he does come out of it well and runs again it is likely to be in France. There are two Group One races at Saint-Cloud at the end of the season we could look at.”
Autumn Twilight (20-1) completed Menuisier’s haul, and formed the first leg of a double too for jockey Kieran Shoemark, getting the better of Ensyaaby by a head in division one of the Byerley Stud British EBF Novice Stakes.
Menuisier said: “This one works with Belloccio – and when I saw him win, I thought he might run well, and he did. He is very professional.
“He was bred by Kildaragh Stud and was sent to the breeze-ups – but they couldn’t sell him, so they asked if I wanted to train him, and I said ‘let’s give it a go’.”
Shaun Lycett celebrated his first Flat winner in 293 days when The King’s Steed (22-1) prevailed by a neck under Shoemark in the opening division of the Consign With Byerley Stud Handicap.
Champagne Piaff (7-2) built on a solid Ascot debut behind subsequent Group Three scorer La Barrosa, turning over odds-on favourite Fundamental by three-quarters of a length in the second division of the seven-furlong novice.
Winning trainer Gary Moore said: “He was just a bit green today, but he is just a big baby – and whatever he does at two is a bonus.
“I’ve got something in the back of my mind for him, but it might be ambitious. I will see how he comes out of it.”
James Doyle had a fair idea of what to expect from the Hugo Palmer-trained The Rosstafarian (6-1), who ran out out a four-and-a-quarter-length winner in division two of the mile novice.
Doyle said: “I galloped him at home and I thought he would improve a bit for a run, but that last bit of work definitely sharpened him up.
“He was a bit green but he quickened up well in the end.”