Charlie Appleby hoping to unleash Highland Avenue on St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot

HIGHLAND Avenue is set to lead Epsom Derby-winning trainer Charlie Appleby’s assault on the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Highland Avenue - pictured winning at Newmarket under James Doyle - is now Royal Ascot-bound, says trainer Charlie Appleby.

The Dubawi colt won on his first three starts this year, before losing little in defeat when failing by half a length to give Mosthadaf 3lb in last month’s Heron Stakes at Sandown.

Appleby was pleased with that run, and feels Highland Avenue has the credentials to put up a good show in next week’s Group One over a mile.

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“Highland Avenue will go for the St James’s Palace Stakes,” confirmed Appleby, whose Adayar won at Epsom last weekend. “He finished second at Sandown. He’s come out of the race very well.

Derby-winning trainer Charlie Appleby (left) is talking up the Royal Ascot prospects of Highland Avenue.

“I was delighted with the run. He had the penalty. I believe when you go to Ascot you have to be battle-hardened, and he’s put that onto his CV now.

“Sandown was very much a stepping-stone to the St James’s Palace, as long as he ran well. I’m very much looking forward to seeing him on a quicker surface at Ascot.”

Appleby will also saddle La Barrosa, who got stuck in the testing ground at the Curragh in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

“We were pleased with his run on his last start,” he said. “He was second to Master Of The Seas in the Craven, and at the Curragh it was the soft ground.

“I felt we didn’t see the best of him.

“He travelled well into the race but couldn’t pick up on that ground. He deserves to be in the line-up.”

Breeding empire Juddmonte has announced that Barry Mahon will take on the responsibility for all European racing following the retirement of Yorkshire’s Teddy Grimthorpe.

Grimthorpe announced in April that he was stepping down from his long-standing role as racing manager for Juddmonte Farms after 22 years.

A position he took over in 1999, Grimthorpe managed all of the late Khalid Abdullah’s horses in Europe, overseeing such greats of the Turf as Frankel and Enable.

Chacun Pour Soi has been crowned the best chaser trained in Britain or Ireland in the 2020/21 Anglo-Irish Jumps Classification.

The Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old won four of his five starts during a tremendous campaign, his only defeat coming when third in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March.

Veteran Ryedale trainer Mick Easterby, 90, is now operating under a joint licence with his son David – they had their first runners at Wetherby last night.

The move comes several years after Easterby senior first promised to transfer the licence of the family’s Sheriff Hutton stables.

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