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Dar Re Mi's team eye King George

Connections of Coral-Eclipse disappointment Dar Re Mi are confident their star mare will bounce back to her best in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

John Gosden's charge, owned by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, was having her first start since winning the Dubai Sheema Classic in March and a lack of race fitness appeared to take its toll up the Sandown hill.

Having contested the early pace with eventual winner Twice Over, Dar Re Mi faded into fourth, but the owners' racing manager Simon Marsh expects a better performance at Ascot on July 24.

"I've spoken to John and she's absolutely fine this morning," said Marsh. "It wasn't a bad effort from her in the end and the race was not run to suit at all.

"They went very quick early on and that's just one of those things but it will bring her on for the King George. She should be absolutely straight for that.

"The King George has been her main target but we had to get something into her beforehand and we have done that now, so we're looking forward to Ascot."

Brian Meehan will wait to see how the handicapper reacts before making a plan for breathtaking Old Newton Cup winner Dangerous Midge.

The four-year-old arrived at Haydock on the back of a fine sixth in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot and could not have been more impressive as he routed his rivals by eight lengths and more.

Given that emphatic success came off a mark of 96 and a sharp rise looks sure to follow, Meehan fears handicaps may now be out of the question.

"Everything is fine with him this morning and we were delighted with the win," said the Manton handler.

"I couldn't say I expected him to do it quite so well, but we did think he'd win.

"He's a horse we've always thought a lot of. He picked up really well and the fast ground suits him really well.

"I also think he's better going left-handed and his breeding suggests that too.

"We'll see what the handicapper does with him on Tuesday but I'd imagine he'll put him high enough so we'll have to run in stakes company now, but we'll see."

Paul Hanagan's title charge suffered a minor hiccup when he was kicked in the face by his intended mount in the opener at Ayr.

Richard Fahey's stable jockey has been on fire in recent days, banging in an endless stream of winners to take him to the top of the championship.

He was kicked by the Fahey-trained Cotton Spirit after being unseated before the Unison's Ayrshire & Arran Health Branch Median Auction Maiden Stakes.

He was passed fit to ride Mr Lu in the next to finish fifth but stood himself down for the rest of the day.

Hanagan has a full book of rides at this evening meeting at Ripon.

Royal Ascot disappointment Pollenator has been retired by connections and will head to the December Sales.

The daughter of Motivator promised plenty as a juvenile, rounding off her campaign with a narrow win in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster, beating subsequent Fillies' Mile winner Hibaayeb in the process.

However, she disappointed in the 1000 Guineas on her comeback and was last of 17 in the Sandringham Handicap last time out, prompting connections to call it a day.

Harry Herbert, racing manager for the owners Royal Ascot Racing Club, said: "She returned to Highclere Stud at the end of June as Richard Hughes and Richard Hannon both advised that this filly should be retired as they feel that she no longer wants to race.

"Needless to say this is disappointing, but it is not unusual for fillies to fail to train on from two to three and we feel that it is right to draw stumps and to sell her in the December Sales in Newmarket."


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