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Stoute switches focus for Telescope

Leading Epsom Derby contender Telescope will not run at Sandown on Friday.

The Michael Stoute-trained colt had been in the frame to make his seasonal debut in a one-mile conditions stakes at the Esher circuit. Owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing said the son of Galileo will bypass that contest to head for Chester or York.

"Telescope will not run at Sandown and will instead head to either the Dee Stakes at Chester or the Dante at York. He is in great form," Highclere tweeted.

Meanwhile, Henry Cecil and Richard Hannon were two familiar faces smiling following the week of Classic trials that concluded at Newbury on Saturday.

Cecil, ostensibly bereft without Frankel, came up with a luminous new talent in Hot Snap; and another cherished old master, Hannon, now finds himself supervising leading fancies not only for the two imminent Classics at Newmarket but also for the Derby itself.

Whether Toronado can handle the extra distance at Epsom is a question for another day, Richard Hughes having joined Hannon in the aggrieved admission that he has never been associated with a champion over a mile and a half. For now it remains fitting that trainer and jockey should be claiming such a pivotal role in both Guineas.

Toronado was so authoritative in the Craven Stakes, over the same course and distance he must cover in the 2,000 Guineas on Saturday week, that Hannon is happy to divert Olympic Glory to the French version after his success in the Greenham. After all, both colts are nowadays in the same ownership.

But he does not have that luxury with Maureen, which won the Fred Darling on the same card, and now offers Hughes a tempting 1,000 Guineas alternative to Sky Lantern.

The latter shaped well in the Nell Gwyn, albeit without being able to stem the startling assault of Hot Snap, and Hughes will defer his choice until gaining a better idea of the going. "Sky Lantern wants it like a road," he said. "And Maureen loves it soft – so we'll have to see who gets lucky at Newmarket." With every right to see out the extra furlong in the Guineas, she looks pretty fair value at 14/1.

The Greenham, meanwhile, proved a curious race. Olympic Glory remains unbeaten by all comers bar Dawn Approach himself, and produced another highly professional display. It was disappointing, even so, to see Moohaajim flatten out in third after travelling so well. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent