Turf Talk: Trainer Paul Nicholls plots pathway to Galway Plate repeat success for Black Corton

Black Corton and Bryony Frost. PIC: Julian Herbert/PA WireBlack Corton and Bryony Frost. PIC: Julian Herbert/PA Wire
Black Corton and Bryony Frost. PIC: Julian Herbert/PA Wire
TRAINER Paul Nicholls is keeping his fingers crossed Black Corton makes the cut for this weekend’s Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Grade One-winning chaser is currently second on the list of ballots for Saturday’s extended two-mile-five-furlong contest.

Eleven-time champion jumps trainer Nicholls is hoping to use the race as a prep run for next month’s Galway Plate, which he won back in 2008 with Oslot.

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Nicholls said: “Black Corton is going for the Galway Plate, and it would be nice to give him a run before it. This is just over a month before it, and fits in nicely.

“I didn’t really want to run him over jumps at this time of year, and Megan (Nicholls) came up with the idea over the weekend.

“He is second on the ballot list, but hopefully he will get in. He has been doing plenty, but this would help keep his fitness up and do him the world of good.”

n Mehdaayih is set to make her next appearance in France after sidestepping Royal Ascot.

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The daughter of Frankel won last month’s Cheshire Oaks and was favourite to claim Classic glory in the Investec Oaks at Epsom after being supplemented at a cost of £30,000.

She was a little disappointing in finishing seventh – seemingly failing to handle Epsom’s undulations – and John Gosden was initially keen to head to the Royal meeting for Thursday’s Ribblesdale Stakes before having a late change of heart.

“I would have liked to run Mehdaayih in the Ribblesdale. She just got banged about in the Oaks,” said Gosden.

“She is just coming back to herself now, but Ascot would be too soon to run her back. She is likely to head to France now for a fillies only Group Two at Saint-Cloud called the Prix de Malleret (on June 30).”


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ROYAL ASCOT: 2.30 Sunday Sovereign, 3.05 Headman, 3.40 Star Catcher, 4.20 STRADIVARIUS (NAP), 5.00 King Ademar, 5.35 Sir Ron Priestley.

RIPON: 2.10 Al Aakif (next best), 2.45 The Defiant, 3.20 Battle Of Wills, 3.55 Borodin, 4.35 Mr Carbonator, 5.10 Tadaany, 5.45 Gold Arch, 6.20 Theatro.

CHELMSFORD: 1.50 Hard Nut, 2.20 Carvelas, 2.55 Tahreek, 3.30 Shareef Star, 4.05 Inference, 4.45 Furious, 5.20 Withoutdestination.

LINGFIELD: 5.50 Billyoakes, 6.25 Green Door, 7.00 Brogans Bay, 7.30 Tamerlane, 8.00 Crazy Spin, 8.30 Cherokee Mist, 9.00 Mondain.

FFOS LAS: 6.00 Cesar Du Gouet, 6.35 Silent Steps, 7.10 Barton Rose, 7.40 Borice, 8.10 Follow The Bear, 8.40 Good Time Ahead, 9.10 Delface.