Gosden bolsters King George team with Eagle Top
Published 22/07/2014 | 02:30
Royal Ascot hero Eagle Top is to join Epsom Oaks-winning stablemate Taghrooda in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes after being supplemented for Saturday's Ascot feature.
Taghrooda was confirmed an intended runner in the mile-and-a-half Group One last week following her surprise defection from the Irish Oaks, with owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum keen to test her powers against the boys.
Eagle Top oozed class when streaking clear in the King Edward VII Stakes at the Royal meeting, over the King George course and distance, and looks set to meet his elders for the first time after being added to the field at a cost of £75,000.
Trainer John Gosden could yet launch a formidable three-pronged attack on the King George, with Epsom Derby third Romsdal also among the 12 confirmations.
Taghrooda looks set to be one of two major challengers for her owner, with the William Haggas-trained Coral-Eclipse winner Mukhadram also in the field, although final running plans will not be decided until later in the week.
Angus Gold, Sheikh Hamdan's racing manager, said: "Everything has gone very well with her (Taghrooda), she's been working very well and looks fantastic. She seems very happy in herself mentally."
If Mukhadram does take his chance this weekend, he will be tackling 12 furlongs for the first time, but Gold is hopeful the extra distance will not be a problem.
"William has always felt he will stay and certainly his pedigree suggests he will. Whether he will be as effective over that trip, until he runs over it nobody can say. We know he's very effective over a mile and a quarter, so we'll just have to see," he said.
Gold expects retained rider Paul Hanagan to side with Taghrooda over Mukhadram, adding: "I think he would (ride Taghrooda). I think it would be hard for him to get off an unbeaten Classic winner at this stage whose getting a lot of weight from the older horses."
The Michael Stoute-trained Telescope heads ante-post lists following his brilliant display in the Hardwicke Stakes at the Royal meeting.
Aidan O'Brien has left in Prince of Wales's Stakes runner-up Magician, as well as Hall Of Mirrors, while fellow Irish handler Jim Bolger has Leitir Mor and Trading Leather in the mix.
Lady Cecil's Noble Mission has already enjoyed a spectacular season, having completed a hat-trick in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh and he was only narrowly denied the four-timer in last month's Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.
Tom Dascombe's Brown Panther and Andre Fabre's potential French challenger Flintshire complete the entries.