Paul Cole will try to turn Duke Of Hazzard into a Group One winner next year, after deciding to draw stumps for the season with his latest stable star.
Although Duke Of Hazzard holds an entry in next month’s Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp, his Derby-winning handler is keen to bide his time before returning him to the top table.
The Lope De Vega colt took his form to new heights at Goodwood on Saturday when making it a hat-trick of wins for the season as he vindicated his connections’ decision to supplement him for the Group Two Celebration Mile.
Cole said: “I think he has had quite a busy time. We are now thinking of another plan – and that plan is to look at the Lockinge and Queen Anne next year.
“His last two races have not been run to suit him, but he has still won.
“On Saturday it looked like he was never going to get a run. But he has what everybody wants – he is a horse with a great turn of foot.
“He has had a busy time, and I don’t want to prejudice his chances next year by asking too much this year.”
Recent form figures next to the name of Duke Of Hazzard make for impressive reading – but Cole feels it could have been even better if had not been for a foot issue holding him back earlier in the campaign.
He said: “He had this cavity last year – we treated it, and we thought we got away with it.
“He was cruising in the French 2000 Guineas, and he flattened out a little bit when he came off the bridle – and the same thing happened in the Jersey (Stakes).
“I made a rather big mistake of sending him to race at Haydock – and you could say it was lucky rather than unlucky that his shoe came off, because it exposed the cavity.
“When horses are feeling things they can learn to pull up. So we put the blinkers on when we sorted it to help him concentrate, because he was getting a bit tired in feeling the problem before.”
Given how Duke Of Hazzard has finished his last three races, distances beyond a mile may be within his capabilities.
Cole will resist pursuing those options for the time being, however.
He added: “He was always a good two-year-old, and he was unlucky not to win a second Listed race, but we made the mistake of racing him around five furlongs early on.
“He is always finishing his races well, so he may get further. But while he is operating over a mile like he is ,we will stick at that.”