By Graham Clark
Trainer Mick Appleby described Raasel as the best horse he has ever trained following his game success on his Group race debut in the Coral Charge at Sandown Park, then insisted there is still “more to come”.
He was picked up for just 10,000 Guineas for owners The Horse Watchers – which includes RacingTV presenters Chris & Martin Dixon – at the 2020 Tattersalls August Horses In Training sale as part of the late Hamdan Al Maktoum’s dispersal.
And the gelded son of Showcasing continued to prove a shrewd purchase when taking his form to new heights in the Group Three five furlong dash under regular rider James Doyle.
Racing just off the pace through the early stages, the 5-2 chance forged on into clear daylight late on before holding off the rallying Mitbaahy by a neck to give Rutland-based Appleby his first winner at the course in 1,113 days.
Appleby said: “He is a nice horse and hopefully he will keep progressing. I was more worried about the track than the opposition.
“It is a weird track the five furlongs here but he got the job done and that is all that matters. I think he has still got more to come.
“We picked him up relatively cheap from the sales. He had got a few issues and we had to iron them out but he has kept on progressing since. He is definitely just a five-furlong horse.
“I think he is the best I’ve had. He is still improving but at home you wouldn’t think it though – he works on his own.
“He is not flamboyant but you don’t win anything at home. Who knows where his ceiling might be? Hopefully he just keeps progressing.”
Raasel, who claimed Listed honours at Haydock Park last time out, will now bid to make it three wins from as many appearances at Goodwood on his next start, with Appleby earmarking the Group Two King George Qatar Stakes on July 29th as his next target.
He said: “We will more than likely go for the King George next. He likes Goodwood and he has won there before so it is perfect for him. He has a few options after that.
“He is in the Flying Five and the Abbaye is a possibility if the ground was okay, but it is normally heavy ground there which he wouldn’t cope with.”
Jockey Club Press Release, Sandown Park