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Godolphin’s Wild Illusion to build on Oaks lesson at Royal Ascot

Trainer Charlie Appleby said it had been an easy decision to saddle Wild Illusion in Thursday’s G2 Ribblesdale Stakes only 20 days after the most taxing run of the filly’s career.

Sport360 staff 2018/06/20

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby said it had been an easy decision to saddle Wild Illusion with a Royal Ascot engagement in Thursday’s G2 Ribblesdale Stakes only 20 days after the most taxing run of the filly’s career.

The three-year-old daughter of Dubawi finished second to Forever Together in the G1 Investec Oaks at Epsom on Friday, 1 June.

She was beaten four and a half lengths on soft ground, fighting on gamely to the finish.

But Appleby said Wild Illusion had bounced out of the Classic very well.

“She’s in great order. She looks fantastic and she’s training well,” the trainer said.

“Was it a difficult decision to back her up quickly after Epsom? No, not at all. She’s come out of the race well, and if she can repeat her Oaks performance she will be very hard to beat in the Ribblesdale,” he pointed out.

Wild Illusion is required to carry a G1 penalty of 3lb for her fine victory in the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Chantilly as a two-year-old.

Her race record is impressive. She has won twice and never been out of the first four in five starts.

She finished a solid fourth to Billesdon Brook on quick ground in the G1 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket last month.

Appleby does not believe the fast ground is an issue for the filly. “If you go on her fourth in the Guineas at Newmarket, it won’t be a worry. I asked James (Doyle), who rode her that day, and he said she did not feel the ground at all,” he said.

A field of 10 fillies have been declared for the Ribblesdale, first run in 1919 and sometimes referred to as the Ascot Oaks.

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