Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby’s first jockey William Buick has chosen to ride Master Of The Seas in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.
Buick made the choice on Monday after weeks of deliberation, leaving James Doyle to pick up stablemate One Ruler, who is set to make his seasonal debut in the first Classic of the season.
“It wasn’t an easy call for William, who rode Master Of The Seas in the Craven and then sat on One Ruler in a routine gallop at Moulton Paddocks last week,” Appleby told the Godolphin website.
“William asked some serious questions of Master Of The Seas in his race, and he was pleased with the response. I believed that’s what clinched it in the end. Of course, the final call comes at declaration time on Thursday.”
According to Appleby, both horses looked primed during Monday’s exercises.
“Five days out from the Guineas, I couldn’t be happier with them,” Appleby said of the two Dubawi colts.
“One Ruler has been progressing nicely at home, while Master Of The Seas has gone to the races and put the score on the board.”
Master Of The Seas had three runs as a two-year-old. He suffered a setback at the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh, finishing fourth, last September.
“We then took him to Dubai [where he finished second behind stablemate Naval Crown in the Meydan Classic], all the while with an eye on Europe in the spring. We did the same with Masar [the 2018 Derby winner],” Appleby said.
“Master Of The Seas has taken a proven path to the Guineas, and has kept progressing, but the biggest change in him came after he ran at Meydan. He strengthened noticeably.
“Things have also gone well with One Ruler. He is well in himself, and his work has been pleasing.
“Kieren Fallon, who has been riding him all winter, took him for a routine gallop at Moulton Paddocks on Saturday, and he was pleased.
“Kieren won the Guineas five times, so it’s great to have a rider with that experience on the team.”
One Ruler has won twice and never been out of the placings in five starts. He emerged a Classic contender when winning the Group 3 Autumn Stakes on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile last October.
He confirmed that view when second to Mac Swiney on heavy ground in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Doncaster later that month.
“We took One Ruler for a gallop at Chelmsford four weeks ago, and he also had a racecourse gallop at the Craven Meeting earlier this month,” Appleby said.
“His prep has gone well, and this is the perfect starting point for his Classic season.”
La Barrosa, who finished second to Master Of The Seas in the Craven, is to be aimed at the French 2000 Guineas at Paris Longchamp on May 9.
“He has done well since the Craven, and it is best to put a line though his previous run in France in the Group 1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud [when fifth]. He did not like the heavy ground.”