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Royal Ascot News 2013  

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Magician to Perform at Royal Ascot

Coolmore have announced that Coronation Cup winner St Nicholas Abbey will head next for the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July and won’t run in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

© Caroline Norris


Aidan O’Brien commented “St Nicholas Abbey has come out of the race at Epsom really well and we’re looking forward to his next run. Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Magician is a likely runner in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, he’s an exciting horse for the future.”

Although Dawn Approach has already been ruled out of the St James's Palace Stakes, trainer Jim Bolger will still send a strong team to Ascot races.

He said: "Rehn's Nest will definitely go for the Coronation Stakes. We'll Go Walking is a possible for the Ribblesdale, and Heart Focus will probably go for the Albany. Tobann will go for the Sandringham."

© Racehorse Photos

Lockinge Stakes winner Farhh will miss Royal Ascot after suffering a training setback.

The five-year-old was placed five times in Group One company last season, but finally gained victory at the highest level when running out an easy winner at Newbury last month.

He was entered in the Queen Anne Stakes and Prince Of Wales's Stakes, but will not line up in either event after pulling up lame following a routine spin in Newmarket on June 8.

Godolphin's racing manager Simon Crisford told "Unfortunately, Farhh is lame and cannot run at Royal Ascot. It is not possible to make plans for him at the moment but hopefully he will be back on the racecourse later this season."

It wasn't all bad news for Godolphin's Royal Ascot aspirrations at Newmarket as juveniles from Sheikh Mohammed's outfit filled the first two places in a hot-looking fillies' maiden.

Newcomer Wedding Ring edged out her more experienced stablemate Ihtimal by a neck for an 8-1 success and trainer Saeed bin Suroor confirmed both fillies will now be prepared for the Royal meeting, with the Group Three Albany Stakes and Chesham Stakes sure to come under consideration.

Also heading to Royal Ascot is Maputo, who completed a three-timer when he landed the odds by two lengths in the Lloyds TSB Commerical Handicap, contested over a mile and a quarter. The 4-5 hotpot was 7lb well in, even allowing for a 6lb penalty picked up with last week's Hamilton victory, and he duly made all in the hands of Joe Fanning.

Trainer Mark Johnston said: "I'm delighted we brought him here as I still feel he's a bit green, and going straight to Royal Ascot from what he's done previously would have been too much for him. At least he has got another race under his belt. Today was a big jump. Our gut feeling might be to come back in trip, rather than go up."

That means Maputo is certain to get an entry for the one-mile Britannia Handicap, although the Group Three Tercentenary Stakes over two furlongs further is another possibility.

Highland Colori
© Racehorse Photos

Highland Colori
Another Ascot prospect is Highland Colori after he took the Lloyd's TSB Cardnet Handicap by three and a quarter lengths from Kakatosi. The five-year-old gelding is on course for the Buckingham Palace Stakes, as long as the Berkshire track's surface is not too quick.

Winning owner Evan Sutherland said: "Two years ago when we ran him on firm ground at Leicester, he came back badly jarred up. Today we thought long and hard about running him and only decided to after William (Buick) rode in the first. His advice was to run as there was no jar."

Buick's counsel was spot-on, and he completed a double with victory aboard 9-2 joint-favourite Consign in the Lloyds-sponsored mile classified stakes. Harry Eustace, pupil assistant to trainer Jeremy Noseda, said: "He ran a similar race last time at Windsor but didn't quite finish it off. Today, the visor made the difference and he kept finding."

Deacon Blues
© Racehorse Photos

Deacon Blues
James Fanshawe has paid tribute to star sprinter Deacon Blues, who was retired after sustaining an injury on the Newmarket gallops on June 8.

The six-year-old made sterling progress through the 2011 season, winning the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot before going on to claim three Group Three events and a Group Two back at the Berkshire venue.

That victory in the British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot saw Deacon Blues crowned as the joint-champion sprinter in Europe.

A tendon injury then forced him to miss the entire 2012 campaign, but Fanshawe had been hoping to have him back in action at either Royal Ascot or next month's July Cup.

However, the trainer and the gelding's owners, Jan and Peter Hopper and Michelle Morris, have now called time on his career after Deacon Blues suffered another setback.

Fanshawe said: "He's been a great horse for the yard. He's gone from being a horse that was hard to win with at three to really improving from three to four, winning five out of six races, including four Group races culminating in the first British Champions Sprint.

"It's not just about his achievements on the track, he was just a lovely horse to have in the yard.

"He travelled so well through his races and had an emphatic turn of foot. This morning was the first time that I was starting to see signs of his old sparkle. We hadn't done too much with him and he wasn't off the bridle, but when he pulled up, you could see he wasn't right and it's a recurrence of his old injury.

"The owners have been very patient. He had a full year off before he even started cantering again. He will be OK to be ridden again but not to race.

"The Hoppers bred him with Mr and Mrs Grundy and they still own him now with Michelle Morris. They will have a discussion about the future, but he will be well looked after. He has just been a pleasure to train."

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