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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Oaks runner-up Wild Illusion has Chantilly and Royal Ascot options

Charlie Appleby: made no excuses for Wild Illusion
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Oaks runner-up Wild Illusion could drop back in trip to contest the Prix de Diane Longines at Chantilly a fortnight on Sunday, but the Ribblesdale Stakes, run over a mile and a half at Royal Ascot, also remains an option after rider William Buick said there was no reason to doubt her stamina.

Wild Illusion was sent off the 5-2 favourite at Epsom on Friday but, having held every chance at the two-furlong pole, failed to see out the race as strongly as Forever Together, who drew clear to win by four and a half lengths.

Watch: Wild Illusion finishes second to Forever Together in Friday's Oaks

Reflecting on the race, trainer Charlie Appleby said on Saturday: "I thought we had a live shout two out but the winner found again and we were just outstayed by a better filly on the day. We'll look at the Prix de Diane or could go to Royal Ascot for the Ribblesdale.

Wild Illusion (left) was no match for Forever Together

"She's got great tactical pace and has always been a good traveller. William said she stays for sure. No question."

Royal Ascot is on the agenda for Coronation Cup disappointment Hawkbill, who beat just one home and was 25 lengths behind the winner Cracksman.

Appleby said of the dual Group 1 winner: "Hawkbill has shown no abnormalities. He can throw one of those races in now and again.

Hawkbill: disappointed behind Cracksman in the Coronation Cup

"Racing up with the pace, in a contest run at a nice, honest gallop, has told on him at the end. We'll look at the Hardwicke."

Hardwicke Stakes card and betting

Perfect Clarity was another who disappointed at Epsom on Friday, the filly came into the race unbeaten in two starts but could only finish seventh of the nine runners.

However, on Saturday trainer Clive Cox attributed the below-par performance to the testing ground and is hopeful the Lingfield Oaks Trial winner can bounce back given more suitable conditions.

He said: "They were the the most testing conditions she'd ever faced and it wasn't helpful to her. Before they turned out of Tattenham Corner she was feeling the difference and I'm pleased she's back in one piece.

"We're happy to strike a line through it and I'm hopeful she'll show a return to form on better ground."

Plans are fluid for Perfect Clarity, who surrendered her unbeaten record in the Oaks

Plans are fluid for Perfect Clarity, with Cox in no hurry to decide on a target.

"She knew she'd had a race – it was hard work on that ground – so we'll play it by ear and make a decision based on her well-being," he said.

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She's got great tactical pace and has always been a good traveller. William said she stays for sure. No question
E.W. Terms
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