Ascot or Goodwood on the agenda for Buhtari

Decision to make for Charlie Hills

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Charlie Hills has yet to decide whether to run Buhtari in the Wooldridge Group Pat Eddery Stakes at Ascot on Saturday or the Qatar Vintage Stakes at Goodwood on Tuesday.

The Lambourn handler is weighing up whether to allow the son of Raven’s Pass to go one better than his full-brother Ibn Malik in the seven-furlong Group Two prize at the Sussex track or take aim at the Listed contest, better known as the Winkfield, over the same trip.

After finishing second on his debut at Goodwood in May, the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned colt, who also holds an entry in next month’s Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes at York, struck gold on his second start at Haydock earlier this month.

Hills said: “He ended up making the running at Haydock, which wasn’t ideal, and he didn’t do a stroke in front. We’ve always felt thought that seven furlongs would suit him.

“It looks like being a tough Vintage this year, as I think the winner of the Chesham runs (Pinatubo). His full-brother Ibn Malik was second in it and I think he could be a bit better than him.

“I’ve been delighted with the way he has come out of the race. I think he might just run a better race in better class. I’ve also got him in the Winkfield at the weekend, so we will have a chance to see both races and make a decision in a couple of days time.”

A step up to Pattern-race company could be on the cards for stablemates Royal Commando and Fleeting Prince, with Hills contemplating running both horses in the Group Two Qatar Richmond Stakes.

He said: “Royal Commando has got a gorgeous temperament and I think he could be pretty useful.

“It is not going to be easy stepping up into a Group Two, as there will be some good horses in the race, but it looks the logical way to go. He has got a great stride and temperament not to worry me too much.

“Fleeting Prince is a nice horse. He is in that sales race (at York) and we could run him in a novice race to gain a bit more experience or put him in the deep end. He will have an entry in the Richmond, which will tempt us into running him.”

Hills is keeping his fingers crossed Royal Hunt Cup winner Afaak receives a good draw when dropping back in trip for the Unibet Golden Mile Handicap on the Friday of Goodwood.

He said: “He had a terrible draw at York and Dane (O’Neill) did a terrific job to get him in a great position.

“Whether he quite saw the extended mile and a quarter out is a question mark so we are bringing him back to a mile. He ran a good race there last year so we just need a good draw really.”

Ascot or Goodwood on the agenda for Buhtari
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