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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 July 2018

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby 'very pleased' with Masar ahead of Eclipse Stakes

After winning the Epsom Derby, Masar is preparing for the Group 1 contest at Sandown next week

William Buick ridding Masar celebrates crossing the line and winning the Epsom Derby. Warren Little / Getty Images
William Buick ridding Masar celebrates crossing the line and winning the Epsom Derby. Warren Little / Getty Images

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby has warned those set to take on Masar in the Eclipse Stakes they will have to bring their A-game if they are to topple this year's Epsom Derby winner.

The son of New Approach stepped up his preparation for the mile-and-a-quarter Group 1 contest at Sandown next week with a racecourse gallop at Newmarket's July Course on Saturday morning.

Working over seven furlongs under regular partner Brett Doyle, the three-year-old quickened smartly clear of stablemates Alqamar (Oscar Urbina) and African Jazz (Mikey Ennis) before crossing the line with around eight lengths in hand.

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"I was very pleased with him," Appleby said. "He had his same two galloping companions there and we covered the same trip. He did it equally as well, if not probably better, than before Epsom.

"I'm not going to hype him much more, as he is a Derby winner, so I can't really put much more positive spin on it. Physically, he looks great.

"We go in there with a horse we feel is in the best condition we can get him in and at this stage they have got us to beat.

"As Brett said, he is the ultimate professional and I think he has shown us what we wanted to see and that was his well-being.

"Epsom is Epsom and you don't go there and have an easy race. He knew he had a run.

"To be fair to the horse he took a lot of media attention on in the following 48 hours. It is not like he got as much rest as he would normally get. He is a professional, though, and took it well.

"He put on what weight he lost at Epsom within about eight days and since then has put some more on again. This will put him spot on for the Eclipse."