Saturday 24 March 2018

Horn's Golden Shot to emulate Galileo

Trainer John Gosden
Trainer John Gosden

Marcus Armytage

Golden Horn could face as many as 10 rivals in Saturday's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot - including stablemates Eagle Top and Romsdal as well as prolific Italian winner Dylan Mouth.

John Gosden's Derby hero is the headline act among 11 horses confirmed for Ascot's midsummer showpiece following his stunning display at Epsom and subsequent triumph in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

On both occasions the going was described as good to firm, and with little rain forecast, a fast surface is set to prevail at Ascot this weekend.

The last horse to complete the Epsom Derby/King George double was Aidan O'Brien's Galileo in 2001.

Michael Stoute has won the King George a joint-record five times and has strengthened his hand for this year's renewal by supplementing the Prince Khalid Abdullah-owned Snow Sky, an all-the-way scorer in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Spokesperson for the horse's owner, Lord Grimthorpe, said the intention is to run both Snow Sky and the Andre Fabre-trained Flintshire.

"We know Flintshire - he's reliably consistent and has very few blips. Snow Sky, strangely, is more of an unknown," Grimthorpe explained.

"He ran well in the Leger, had a good battle with Brown Panther at York and we had a stamina-laden programme in mind but he worked well before Ascot prompting us to go for the Hardwicke. When he won that so well, we asked if we could go up a step again"

Stoute is also set to saddle last year's runner-up Telescope, which needs to bounce back from a disappointing run behind his stablemate at the Royal meeting.

Dylan Mouth is an intriguing outsider for Stefano Botti. The four-year-old is a multiple Group One winner in Italy, but disappointed on his only previous visit to British shores at the Royal meeting last summer.

David Simcock has two bullets to fire, with Prince of Wales's Stakes fourth The Corsican joined by smart mare Madame Chiang. Peter Niven's stable star Clever Cookie and the Luca Cumani-trained Postponed complete the acceptors.

Hillstar, Mahsoob, Dolniya, Karpino, plus O'Brien's fillies Diamondsandrubies and Qualify were taken out of the contest. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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