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Notable Speech strikes Guineas gold

Notable Speech was a surprise winner as City Of Troy failed to land a blow in the Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket.

Aidan O’Brien’s colt was sent off the 4-6 favourite after an unbeaten juvenile campaign which culminated in an impressive success in the Dewhurst Stakes.

However, he looked under pressure early on in the hands of Ryan Moore and faded out of the race entirely, leaving 16-1 chance Notable Speech to take up the lead.

Under William Buick, the Charlie Appleby-trained chestnut pulled away in the final furlong to win comfortably by a length and a half.

The Richard Hannon-trained duo of Rosallion and Haatem took minor honours, with a length and three-quarters between them at the line.

Notable Speech did not run as a juvenile and had only raced on the all-weather prior to his Classic success, winning each of his three outings at Kempton.

“You don’t see too many come off an all-weather success to a Guineas success, we’ve given him all the time, thinking he was a good horse,” Appleby said.

“He was given that time, a few lads sat on him last year in August time, when you start to see these horses developing more, and they were just saying ‘he’s a nice horse’.

“He was still far too weak to do anything with, as always I’m in the very privileged position to be allowed to give the horses the time that they need, with no pressure.

“He came out on the all-weather there and we all know what he did – he was three from three – in that last start, I think he put a bit of a ‘wow factor’ into what he achieved, with his acceleration.

“William did say ‘I think he’s a French Guineas’ horse because he’s quick, and so therefore we toyed with whether to go there. We were waiting for the Craven to see how the Guineas picture would formulate and we decided to put him in the Guineas.

“We brought him here for a racecourse gallop to give ourselves more confidence in running the horse and that morning here, he was exciting.”

Appleby admitted he was not confident of beating City Of Troy, but gained plenty of encouragement from that racecourse workout last month.

He added: “William was very impressed with him after this last start and when we brought him here for the racecourse gallop, he put that ‘wow factor’ back in.

“I worked him with a good horse, I told William I was going to put some speed into the gallop and he fired this horse into the dip and out of it, and he flew out of it – Will said he didn’t even know it was there.

“We came here after that with confidence that we had the right horse to be here. I wasn’t saying he was going to win a Guineas off the back of what City Of Troy had done as a two-year-old, but I just felt we had the right horse to be in the field and be competitive.”

Royal Ascot now looks likely to be the next port of call, with Appleby keen to stick to a mile with the Godolphin-owned colt.

He said: “I’d be surprised if we went beyond a mile. I would imagine it will be Royal Ascot (St James’s Palace Stakes) next, but as always we’ll let the dust settle and let everyone enjoy themselves and speak to all connections.”

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