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Charlie Appleby upbeat ahead of Royal Ascot
Charlie Appleby upbeat ahead of Royal Ascot

Highland Avenue leads Appleby hopes

Derby-winning trainer Charlie Appleby has talked up the chances of his "battle-hardened" runner Highland Avenue ahead of Royal Ascot.

Highland Avenue impressed on soft ground and under a penalty weight to finish second behind Mostahdaf at Sandown on his last outing.

Appleby feels the run will stand his charge in good stead, ahead of Ascot's opening day.

"As it stands at the moment, Highland Avenue will go there," Appleby told Sky Sports Racing. "We saw him finish second at Sandown on the soft ground there. He's come out of the race very well. I was delighted with the run and he had the penalty.

"I'm a big believer that when you go to Ascot you've got to be battle-hardened. He's put that onto his CV now."

Teal confirms Ocean Wind absence

Lambourn trainer Roger Teal has revealed Ocean Wind will not feature in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot next week and will instead be aimed at Goodwood.

The five-year-old was expected to race in the two-and-a-half-mile showpiece after he was seen in April making triple Gold Cup hero Stradivarius work hard for the win in Ascot's Sagaro Stakes. 

However, after a disappointing third-place finish at Sandown last month, Teal has taken the decision for Ocean Wind to take a different course and skip Royal Ascot.

"He underperformed at Sandown, so we want to freshen him up and we'll put him away for Goodwood," said the experienced handler.

Teal added: "He didn't look happy from an early stage of the race. He's gone on soft ground, but it was probably too tacky for him on the day.

"I've had a chat with the owner, and we think [missing Ascot] is the best thing to do."

The absence of Ocean Wind means highly-rated sprinter Oxted will be Teal's runner at the Royal meeting this year.

Duo suffer nasty falls at Windsor

Windsor Racecourse
Windsor Racecourse

Jockeys Alistair Rawlinson and George Buckell both suffered injuries after heavy falls at Windsor on Monday evening.

Rawlinson looks set to face a lengthy spell out on the sidelines after he broke his ankle and four ribs in the fall on Diligent Lady.

Fellow jockey George Buckell was also unseated from Centurion Song in the incident but is expected to make a swift return.

Al Aasy connection coy on plans

Connections of Al Aasy have not yet decided on the next course of action for the four-year-old following his narrow defeat on Friday at Epsom.

Beaten by a neck by Pyledriver in the Coronation Cup, Angus Gold, racing manager for Al Aasy's owners Shadwell Estate Company Ltd, says a decision is yet to be made after a disappointing result.

"Having gone a neck up, it was disappointing not to maintain it. Anyway, he ran a good race and they were seven lengths clear.

"If you took the winner out he'd have won on the bridle and everybody would be saying what a good horse he was.

"We'll regroup and see how he comes out of it and then make a plan."

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