By Sam Turner For The Daily Mail
Published: 22:30 BST, 10 July 2019 | Updated: 22:30 BST, 10 July 2019
Masar's on the march this time
Events didn't pan out for MASAR (Newmarket, 3.30) at Royal Ascot, but last year's Derby hero can put his career back on track this afternoon.
Sidelined by injury for 385 days following his Epsom victory, Charlie Appleby's colt was fancied by many to make a winning comeback in the Hardwicke Stakes but his bid for a spectacular return was soon derailed.
An inglorious exit from the stalls saw Masar stumble badly and nearly eject rider James Doyle, who did well to keep the partnership intact, but any game plan was swiftly rendered useless.
Masar (left), pictured at Epsom last month, is well fancied to win at Newmarket on Thursday
In the circumstances, Masar ran an encouraging race to finish within five lengths of Defoe who was following up his Coronation Cup win in snugly lifting the Group Two prize.
Because of his dramatic start, Doyle was also forced to sit in rear and challenge five wide turning for home but making up the lost ground at the start and a lack of race fitness told on Masar in the closing stages.
The vibes from Appleby's Newmarket base since Ascot have been encouraging and it will be disappointing if the selection can't cut the deficit and overhaul market rival Mirage Dancer, who travelled powerfully in the Hardwicke, but didn't have the class to repel Defoe.
Mirage Dancer had enjoyed the benefit of a Goodwood warm-up prior to his Royal assignment so he may not boast the same fitness edge over Masar today and his Godolphin counterpart is set to turn the tables.
After a fine run at Sandown on Saturday, MAGICAL WISH (Newmarket, nap, 3.00)