Turf Talk: Calyx ready for Ascot test
coventry Stakes winner Calyx will face six rivals as he makes his eagerly-awaited return in tomorrow’s Merriebelle Stable Commonwealth Cup Trial Stakes at Ascot.
Connections chose Wednesday’s Group Three contest over six furlongs, registered as the Pavilion Stakes, for the Kingman colt – having ruled him out of the 2000 Guineas after a racecourse gallop at Newmarket last week.
Trainer John Gosden felt it was too much to ask of Calyx to head straight for a Classic after being off the track for 10 months since his Royal Ascot victory.
It was decided to stick to the original plan and run at the Berkshire track again before heading for the major mile races.
Taking on Calyx is Signora Cabello, winner of the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer. Group-race placed Konchek and Pocket Dynamo are among others taking the plunge.
American trainer Wesley Ward is giving Lady Pauline a taste of surroundings befor the Royal meeting by running her in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial Conditions Stakes.
The filly showed blistering speed to win by nine and three-quarter lengths on her debut over four and a half furlongs at Keeneland this month.
She is likely to be given a sterner test as she comes up against past winners Zulu Zander and Ventura Rebel, and three other untapped rivals.
Middleham trainer Mark Johnston’s Dee Ex Bee, runner-up in the Derby last year, heads a field of seven declared for tomorrow’s Group Three Sagaro Stakes, a rehearsal for the Gold Cup.
Weekender, placed in the Ebor and Irish St Leger, represents the Gosden team – while Raymond Tusk and classy hurdler Verdana Blue are among others in the mix.
Barney Roy makes his return to the racecourse after a failed career as a stallion when he lines up for the in the Ascot Shop Paradise Stakes.
Winner of the St James’s Palace Stakes in 2017 when trained by Richard Hannon, he retired to stud but was found to be infertile.
Now gelded, Barney Roy is with Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby and is one of eight hopefuls in this trial for the Queen Anne Stakes.
Appleby also saddles First Contact, who was sixth in the Earl of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket following a spell in Dubai.
Owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum has two runners in the shape of the Richard Hannon-trained Tabarrak and Wadilsafa from the Owen Burrows stable, while Robin Of Navan takes his chance for Harry Dunlop.
LEE SOBOT’S SELECTIONS
NOTTINGHAM: 1.30 Beignet, 2.00 Space Blues (treble), 2.35 Hat Yai, 3.05 Isango, 3.35 Yusra, 4.05 Queen Constantine, 4.35 Remember The Man, 5.10 Tenax.
YARMOUTH: 2.15 Take It Down Under, 2.45 Don’t Joke, 3.15 Questionare (next best) 3.45 Pendo, 4.15 Givinitsum, 4.50 Agent Of Fortune, 5.25 Tunky.
BRIGHTON: 1.50 Tan, 2.25 Copacabana Dancer, 2.55 Agent Basterfield, 3.25 Lady Alavesa, 3.55 Sharp Operator, 4.25 Wilson, 5.00 Light Of Air.
NEWCASTLE: 4.45 She’s Royal, 5.20 Chosen World, 5.55 Pendleton, 6.30 Island Flame, 7.05 SURFMAN (NAP), 7.40 Newmarket Warrior, 8.15 Gunmaker.
CHELMSFORD: 5.15 Hidden Stash, 5.45 Fantastic Flyer, 6.20 Carnival Rose, 6.55 Young John, 7.25 Gregorian Girl, 8.00 True Destiny, 8.30 Imperial Act.