Eclipse could be on Masar radar as Appleby ponders drop in trip for Epsom hero
A surprise drop in trip could be on the cards for Derby hero Masar on his next outing as connections consider whether to stump up £50,000 to add the Godolphin colt to the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on July 7.
The chestnut, already introduced as 5-2 favourite by sponsors Coral, was a breakthrough first Classic winner for Charlie Appleby when he readily disposed of Dee Ex Bee and Roaring Lion at Epsom on Saturday.
The Arabic word for journey, Masar is well named as he has appeared in four different countries across the three continents in the past nine months, culminating in his scintillating win at the weekend.
The son of New Approach was the centre of attention at a media event put on by Great British Racing on home territory at Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket on Monday, when he did not turn a hair despite the mass interest.
Appleby said: "It was great to see the staff jumping around the place with joy this morning and Saturday was a great day for the whole team at Godolphin.
"Masar has had plenty of attention this morning but he has such a great temperament and head on him that it hasn't bothered him at all. His mental strength helped him deal with the noise of Derby day at Epsom and that's his strongest asset."
Masar enjoyed a gentle walk on Monday morning as Appleby looked to the future and a possible next start over a mile and a quarter.
He said: "I like to work back from the races we're looking at in the autumn, such as the Arc and the Qipco Champion Stakes. He's not in the Eclipse but we could supplement him, as we did with Hawkbill a couple of years ago, or there is the Irish Derby to think about. We'll see how he is in the next week or so before we make a decision."
Masar was the first colt to carry the Godolphin blue to victory in the Derby and the first domestic Classic success for the organisation since Encke, who was also stabled at Moulton Paddocks, won the St Leger in 2012.
Hugh Anderson, managing director of Godolphin, explained the significance of the Derby triumph to the Dubai-based organisation. He said: "The Derby is the biggest and most important Flat race in the world, there's no question about that.
"It confirms to us how good an operation Godolphin are just now and it comes at the end of a 12-month spell when had our best-ever Royal Ascot, with two Group 1s, our best-ever Breeders' Cup, with two Grade 1s ,plus our best-ever Dubai World Cup night, with four Group 1s.
"It shows Godolphin, on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed, are a serious international force that can win at the very highest level. The Derby win is the best and sweetest of them all, as it's been such a long time coming."
On Saturday, Sheikh Mohammed and was joined by his wife Princess Haya in the post-Derby celebrations, and Anderson pointed out its significance to the Godolphin breeding arm.
He said: "Masar's sire New Approach was owned by Princess Haya and her delight was as great as anybody's. As Masar is a homebred there's as much delight up at Dalham Hall Stud at the moment as there is in this racing yard today."
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