Ed Walker steps Royal Intervention up in class at Ascot

‘Exciting’ filly takes aim at Princess Margaret Stakes

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Ed Walker is looking forward to Royal Intervention stepping up to Group Three company in the Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

The daughter of Exceed And Excel has already shown plenty of promise, getting off the mark in the Listed Empress Stakes at Newmarket after just being beaten in a novice stakes at Lingfield on her debut.

Walker feels Royal Intervention is ready for the next rung up the ladder.

The Newmarket handler said: “She is very exciting. She won very well in the Empress Stakes at Newmarket and this was the obvious next steeping stone.

“Given the look of the entries, the race has cut up a bit and we’d be very hopeful that she can successfully make the step up in grade.

“Obviously, it’s warmer than the Empress was, but she’s in great form and is growing up and improving all the time.

“We’d be very hopeful.”

Richard Fahey has a high opinion of Nicki’s Angel and is hoping she can live up to her billing after having had a break.

She has not run for 10 weeks after finishing fourth to subsequent dual Group Two scorer Signora Cabello in the Listed Marygate Stakes at York in May following her debut win at Musselburgh earlier that month.

“She’s a filly we like. She is still learning her trade,” said Fahey.

“We sort of lost her a bit after York. I gave her a bit of time and she’s been working very well, so it will be interesting how she gets on.

“The step up to six furlongs will suit. She’s improved and she will need to.”

A leading fancy is John Gosden’s Angel’s Hideaway, who was runner-up to Pretty Pollyanna in a rough race for the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket’s July meeting.

That defeat also came at a cost to jockey Frankie Dettori, who was suspended 10 days – reduced to six days on appeal – for careless riding.

The Dark Angel filly will be ridden by Rab Havlin in the Princess Margaret Stakes.

Chris Richardson, managing director for Angel’s Hideaway’s owners, Cheveley Park Stud, said: “It was unfortunate what happened at Newmarket and I feel sorry for poor Frankie.

“We were expecting her to run well, but we obviously weren’t expecting the winner to beat us given she finished behind us at Ascot.

“She’s come out of the race well and John is very pleased with her, so we’ll have another go.”

Of the other runners, the Ralph Beckett-trained Scintillating and Michael Appleby’s Aquarius have won their sole starts at Newbury and Newmarket respectively.

Mark Johnston saddles Chapelli, while the Brian Ellison-trained The Mackem Bullet completes the septet.

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