New London Bounces Back in BET365 Handicap to Earn Step Back Up Into Group Company

July 8, 2022

After saddling a double on day one of the Moët & Chandon July Festival, Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby carried on where he had left on when New London (6-4 Favourite) came home the comfortable winner of the £100,000 bet365 Handicap (1m 2f).

Making his first start since he was beaten at odds-on in the Group Three Chester Vase back in May, the son of Dubawi was always perfectly positioned by William Buick and drew away in the final furlong for a very cosy three-length success over Swilcan Bridge (4-1).

While New London’s run at Chester meant he did not earn a place in the field for the Cazoo Derby at Epsom Downs, a step up in class now beckons New London with Appleby earmarking next month’s Group Two Great Voltigeur Stakes at York as a possible target.

Charlie Appleby said: “He has bounced back and I’m delighted to get the horse back on track

“He is a horse that we liked in the spring. After the way he won his novice race here (on the Rowley Mile) we were looking to go to bigger races with him. After the Chester Vase, we let this horse tell us when he was ready.

“Over the last six weeks he has turned a corner. William was delighted with him today. He is very straightforward, stays well and being back on a sound surface helped.

“For whatever reason after the Vase his coat went and it took him a little while to get his mojo back but he is back now so that is great.

“To be fair on the back of what he has achieved you could look to going back to where we were hoping to be in the spring and look at a Voltigeur or something like that. He is a nice horse and he stays well. On a good sound surface, as he has shown today, he is a nice animal.

“William mooted the St Leger but more importantly we will look towards a Voltigeur and time will tell if he looks like a St Leger horse. One thing is that he will stay as he is out of a Monsun mare. The only thing you would question mark at that time of year (St Leger) is the ground as it was clear to see at Chester he didn’t like the soft ground. His coat went within days after Chester and he could barely raise a canter.

“Sometimes you ask horses to do stuff in the spring and they put a nice performance like he did at the Craven meeting and they will go backwards and some will go forwards. He was one that went backwards unfortunately but I’m not worried now.”

Hayley Turner, rider of the second Swilcan Bridge, commented: “He’s such a lovely horse to ride, he relaxes well and has a high cruising speed. I think he’s been beaten by quite a nice horse today but he’s very uncomplicated and a pleasure to ride, so he’ll have his day.”

There was much to like about the debut victory of Epictetus (11-1) in the opening Weatherbys British EBF Maiden Stakes (7f) and he was introduced at 40-1 by Betfair and Paddy Power for the 2023 QIPCO 2000 Guineas.

George Strawbridge’s homebred son of Kingman, out of Group One winner Thistle Bird, travelled strongly throughout just in behind the leaders before lengthening well in the closing stages under Martin Harley to come a length and a quarter to the good over Leadman (14-1).

John Gosden, who trains the winner along with his son Thady, said: “I’m very pleased. He has done nothing but work gently on the bridle at home. He wasn’t wound up in any way for the race.

“You would have to be absolutely overjoyed as in some sense he is still raw. In the proceedings and in the race he was very professional and I thought Martin gave him a lovely ride.

“Mr. Strawbridge brought the mare (Thistle Bird). James Wigan sourced her from the Rothschild dispersal and she was an exceptionally talented Group One winner that Roger (Charlton) trained. He has had a nice filly called Jumbly out of the mare. To go to Kingman and get a horse like that straight away it is all about the owner-breeder Mr. Strawbridge.

“He was surprisingly professional as he hasn’t been on the grass for seven weeks as he has just been on the all-weather. We will probably go for a novice and go a step at a time and we won’t go into the deep end. We will go to novice and see where we go from there. I think he will be very comfortable over a mile. He has got the scope and the frame (to make it to Pattern class).”

By Graham Clark & Nick Seddon/The Jockey Club

Photo: The Jockey Club/Newmarket Logo

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