Charming Thought (left) wins the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By David Milnes 10:00AM 12 JUN 2016
Preview: Salisbury, Sunday
British Stallion Studs EBF Cathedral Stakes (Listed Race), 3yo+, turf, 6f
CHARMING THOUGHT, who gave Godolphin their sole domestic Group 1 win of 2014 when last seen in the Middle Park Stakes, makes his return from injury at Salisbury on Sunday afternoon after nearly two years on the sidelines.
It has been a long road back for the son of Oasis Dream, who has had a few issues since springing a 22-1 surprise when turning over Ivawood at Newmarket. It had been hoped he would be back in action last season but injury kept him on the sidelines.
Godolphin chief executive John Ferguson said: “It’ll be great to see Charming Thought back on the track and I know Charlie Appleby [his trainer] has been very happy with him recently.
“He’s had a few setbacks but is ready to roll and is already a Group 1 winner. Hopefully this will be a stepping stone to future things.”
Among those lying in wait is last year’s winner Absolutely So, who has more on his plate this time with 11 rivals instead of just the three he faced 12 months ago.
The Andrew Balding-trained six-year-old is one of four runners who hold entries in Saturday’s Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot, but Strath Burn tops that as he is engaged in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee, for which he is a 14-1 chance.
Strath Burn’s trainer Charlie Hills said: “He has a nice draw and I’ve been pleased with him at home since his comeback run at Windsor. If he wins or runs well the plan is the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot next weekend.”
Strath Burn is at the head of the market for this Listed prize along with the Richard Fahey-trained Don’t Touch, who does not hold an entry at Royal Ascot but is a possible for the Group 1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket next month.
Ayr Gold Cup winner Don’t Touch and Strath Burn can be backed at 7-2, while Danzeno, who was placed in the Group 1 Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot last year, is next in the betting at 4-1.