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Royal Ascot News 2013  

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Ballydoyle Announces Royal Ascot Plans

Aidan O’Brien has announced running plans for some of the top Ballydoyle prospects at Royal Ascot 2013, commenting “We’re making our plans known earlier than usual to allow others to plan positively for the Irish Derby. This is what we envisage at the moment, it’s not set in stone but these are our intentions obviously subject to the horses being fit and well on the day.”

Battle of Marengo
© Caroline Norris

Battle of Marengo
Battle of Marengo, who was fourth at Epsom, will go for the King Edward VII Stakes at the Royal meeting, while Derby sixth Mars will run in the Tercentenary Stakes.

Magician, impressive winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas, is in line for the St James's Palace Stakes, with Gale Force Ten heading for the Jersey Stakes and Leading Light the Queen's Vase.

Last year's Epsom and Irish Derby victor Camelot is set for the Prince Of Wales's Stakes.

Declaration Of War will take on Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom in the Queen Anne Stakes that kicks off the five-day bonanza on Tuesday week.

Medicean Man
© Racehorse Photos

Medicean Man
Jeremy Gask reports Medicean Man to be on course for the King's Stand Stakes despite a slight scare following his victory at Haydock on June 7.

"He did it very well and showed that on his day he is a very nice horse, and I think he can come on for that," said Gask.

"He knows he's had a run. He swallowed, or inhaled, a clot of turf and he was a little bit uncomfortable on the course.

"He stayed up at Haydock, but he's fine and has been in the paddock back home. He had a pretty uncomfortable night, and it was unfortunate what happened, but he'll be fine."

Gask felt Medicean Man might need his first run since returning after racing in Dubai earlier in the year and is now looking forward to preparing him for the King's Stand Stakes on June 18.

© Caroline Norris

David Marnane is looking forward to Jamesie having another crack at the Buckingham Palace Stakes.

The Kodiac gelding beat everything bar Eton Forever in the seven-furlong handicap last summer and that race is again the target, though he also has an entry in the Wokingham.

Jamesie has already paid a visit to the Berkshire venue this season when finishing a respectable seventh to Excellent Guest in the Victoria Cup last month. He has since taken in a mile handicap at the Curragh.

"Jamesie will go for the Buckingham Palace. I don't think he'll get in the Wokingham," said Marnane.

"He was second last year and beat his own side well but didn't see Eton Forever. Jamesie is well up to it.

"He ran well in the Victoria Cup but missed the kick. His last run was over a mile at the Curragh and that was not quite his cup of tea. He ran OK, but ran a bit too free.

"Fingers crossed he can step up a bit in Ascot."

Askar Tau
© Racehorse Photos

Askar Tau
Marcus Tregoning has his fingers crossed Askar Tau will recover his old sparkle in time for Royal Ascot.

The Lambourn trainer's string has been slow to come to hand this season after the cold winter and he feels Askar Tau has yet to reach his peak.

The eight-year-old has finished fifth in the last two runnings of the Gold Cup and the Group One could again be his target, though Tregoning will also consider the Queen Alexandra Stakes.

"Hopefully he's going to make Ascot. He's been a bit disappointing this spring, but it was a very hard winter for a lot of people, including us," said Tregoning.

"I'm just feeling my way with him and I hope he's going to spark come Ascot time.

"The Queen Alexandra Stakes and the Gold Cup are the two races for him at Ascot. We'll just have a look and decide nearer the time."

Boom And Bust may go to Ascot for the Wolferton Handicap, but should Tregoning believe he is not primed for action, he will be saved for Glorious Goodwood, where he has performed with great credit for the last two years.

The ATR cameras went to visit trainer Mark Johnston at his Middleham base. Here, Mark and Sean Boyce discuss Mark's Royal Ascot history while too looking forward to the 2013 meeting.

Watering resumed at Ascot on Monday ahead of next week's Royal meeting with little rain forecast over the next few days at least.

Clerk of the course Chris Stickels turned on the taps on Friday and will do so again on Wednesday as he endeavours to get as near to good ground as possible for the start of the five-day feast.

"We had a drying week last week and a drying weekend so we put a spot of water on the course on Friday and we're back watering again today," Stickels told At The Races.

"We'll probably water again on Wednesday and we will review the forecast as time goes on.

"There are bits of pieces of rain forecast this week, but not really amounting to anything sufficient enough to ease the ground.

"At the moment we are a mixture of good and good to firm. That is the sort of ground we need to start Royal Ascot on given a dry week.

"We will monitor the situation to see what the forecast is for next week which is not entirely clear yet. We need to water to get it to a manageable type of ground."

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