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Royal Ascot Return on the Cards for Junior
03/06/13

The veteran Junior is set to make an appearance at Royal Ascot 2013 in either the Ascot Stakes on Tuesday June 18, or the Queen Alexandra Stakes on Saturday June 22.

Junior
© Racehorse Photos

Junior
David Pipe's enigmatic 10-year-old has been a fantastic servant to his owners Middleham Park Racing down the years, winning the Ascot Stakes in 2010, before returning to the jumping game to win the 2011 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.

Having claimed the Rehearsal Chase at the start of the last National Hunt campaign, he has struggled to make a significant impact since, but he is now set for a return to the level.

Middleham Park's Nick Bradley said: "The ability is still there with him, it's just a question of whether he wants to put it in on the day.

"He jumped well enough at Wetherby last time. The fences just come up very quickly on you there and that was probably the main issue.

"The plan is to go back to Royal Ascot with him for either the Ascot Stakes or the Queen Alexandra. We'll look at the entries for the two races and then make a decision.

"After that he'll hopefully run in the Northumberland Plate, then we'll call it a day for the season and look forward to going back to Newcastle for the Rehearsal Chase at the end of November."

Top-class stayer Patkai could make an astonishing return from four years off the track in the Gold Cup later this month.

The eight-year-old beat all bar legendary four-time winner Yeats in the prestigious two-and-a-half-mile Group One in 2009, but has since been sidelined by injury.

Owned by Ballymacoll Stud, the gelding has switched from the care of Sir Michael Stoute to Welsh handler Rebecca Curtis and having come close to a comeback last year, connections are keeping their fingers crossed he stays in one piece for the Gold Cup on June 20.

Racing manager Peter Reynolds said: "He's had serious soundness problems and we just have to take it day by day with him.

"We sent him to Rebecca as she is very good with those horses who have had soundness issues. She has good facilities and they can do a lot of swimming.

"He was with Rebecca last year and the plan was to go to Ascot then, but he didn't make it.

"At the moment I believe he's fine, but Ascot is still a few weeks away, so we'll see.

"If he's fit and ready he'll go for the Gold Cup, and if he's not he won't."

Mizzava
© Caroline Norris

Mizzava
Trainer Mick Halford is looking forward to once again tackling Group One opposition in the Coronation Stakes with Mizzava, following her excellent run in defeat in the Irish 1000 Guineas.

The daughter of Cape Cross was a relatively unconsidered 50-1 shot for the Curragh Classic, but outran her odds to finish a fine fifth from an unpromising starting berth.

Halford said: "We were delighted with how she ran and if all went well, we'd look at running her in the Coronation.

"She didn't have the best of draws the other day, but she finished off well and I think she's entitled to have another go at them at Ascot.

"I think a mile is a good trip for her and she's versatile ground-wise.

"She's a lovely big filly and progressing all the time."

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