Former Gordon Elliott inmate Beckford on course for European campaign

Brendan Walsh considers Royal Ascot and July Cup for ‘athletic colt’

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Beckford is set to make the trip back to Europe from America for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot before a possible Darley July Cup challenge.

The three-year-old was trained by Gordon Elliott last term, when he won the Railway Stakes and was twice placed at Group One level before transferring to the care of Brendan Walsh in America.

He made a winning debut for Walsh last month at Churchill Downs with his new handler now eyeing a trip to Berkshire before possibly moving on to Newmarket’s July 14 feature.

He said: “He has taken to the American way of training like a duck to water and now we are going to take him back to Europe.

“The intention is to run him in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and we will see what happens there before making any more plans.

“He’s a really athletic colt with a lovely mind, so I can’t see the undulations at Newmarket bothering him.

“He’s got a lot of natural speed and, from what he’s showed me so far, I can’t see any reason why he can’t be competitive against the best sprinters Europe has to offer, though I certainly don’t underestimate them.”

Stormy Liberal is another possible American challenger for the July Cup, while Australian star Redkirk Warrior also features among 50 entries.

Clive Cox’s Harry Angel could head the home defence along with the likes of Prix de l’Abbaye hero Battaash and Limato, who won the July Cup in 2016 and finished second last year.

Aidan O’Brien has saddled the winner on three occasions and his 16 possibles include US Navy Flag, Clemmie and recent Australian import, the Group One-winning Merchant Navy.

Former Gordon Elliott inmate Beckford on course for European campaign
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