Ian Williams has Royal Ascot ambitions for Saunter

Duke of Edinburgh Stakes the plan for November Handicap scorer

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Ian Williams expects Saunter to take a big step forward from his seasonal return when he lines up in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Last year’s November Handicap winner will make his first start in Britain this season in the mile-and-a-half contest on June 22 after finishing fourth in a conditions race at Saint-Cloud last month.

Williams said: “Saunter has come out of his prep race in France really well and that should put him spot on for Royal Ascot.

“He lacked a run and finished behind a very talented filly that day (Aljezeera). He will go for the Duke of Edinburgh and I’m confident he will improve for that run.”

The Alvechurch handler revealed that veteran sprinter Sir Maximilian will miss an outing in the Wokingham Stakes at the Royal meeting after being ruled out for the remainder of the season with injury.

Williams said: “Unfortunately Sir Maximilian has picked up a small injury which will keep him out until next spring.

“It will be the first time in a long time that he won’t go out to Dubai for the winter.

“We will give him the time off he needs and hopefully, at the grand old age of 10, he will run at Chester in May.”

Ian Williams has Royal Ascot ambitions for Saunter
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