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Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Appleby sends Wild Illusion's half-sister Ceratonia on mission to Paris

Ceratonia follows the path of half sister Wild Illusion when tackling the Group 3 Prix d'Aumale
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A year ago Wild Illusion's inexperience found her out when third in the Group 3 Prix d'Aumale (2,45) before the Charlie Appleby-trained filly clicked into top gear when it mattered most in the Prix Marcel Boussac on Arc day.

While the location may have moved from Chantilly, the stable's Ceratonia arrives with a similar profile to her half-sister, having won her only previous start at Ascot in July. 

Appleby said: "Ceratonia won nicely on her only start and we feel the step up to a mile is going to suit. This will help us to see where we are with her and the race should hopefully be a nice stepping stone for the future."

Appleby is also represented in the other juvenile Group race on the card, as Court Poet faces six rivals in the Prix des Chenes (3.55)

The trainer said: "Court Poet only won last week but came out of the race very well and we felt this was a nice opportunity to step up to Group company."

Visually Court Poet's three-quarter-length debut success at Chelmsford was not nearly as eye-catching as that of Anodor, who landed the often informative Prix de Crevecoeur at Deauville last month. 

Runner-up Persian King franked the form in great style at Chantilly last weekend, although trainer Freddy Head has been at pains to point out that Anodor was fully wound up for his debut success. 

Hughie Morrison has made full use of the staying Pattern in France down the years and his eight-year-old Nearly Caught returns for a crack at the Group 3 Prix Gladiateur (4.25), getting a 4lb pull in the weights with his Deauville conqueror Holdthasigreen

Morrison said: "He's in good form and just needs to avoid soft ground, which I'd be amazed if he got looking at the weather. On ratings he needs to run to his best to be third or fourth but he is an absolute star horse and I wish I could have a whole yard of them."

Doha Dream and Called To The Bar add further proven Group-class elements to the opposition, while Saeed Bin Suroor is expecting improvement from Game Starter, who finished second on his return to action at Windsor. 

Bin Suroor said: "This is another step up in class but it looks a nice race for him. He's been working well and I'm hoping he can win."

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On ratings he needs to run to his best to be third or fourth but he's an absolute star horse and I wish I could have a whole yard of them
E.W. Terms
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