Private Secretary on duty for Gosden in King Edward

Kingman colt faces stiff opposition, including Derby third Japan

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John Gosden hopes bypassing the Investec Derby with Private Secretary pays dividends in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot on Friday.

Winner of all three of his races this season after finishing second twice at two, he ran in what Gosden refers to as the “Jack Hobbs” race at Sandown off a mark of just 83.

Like the subsequent Group One winner, he had no trouble in winning that and followed up in a Listed race at Goodwood.

Gosden said: “He was never going to run in the Derby and he was always going to come to this race as a fresh horse. He is in great form.

“We are testing him trip-wise, as he is by Kingman. He was ridden at Goodwood to get the trip. I’m sure Frankie (Dettori) will tuck him in and switch him off to see if he is good enough.

“I am very happy with the horse, though.”

Gosden is also represented by Humanitarian, who ran an excellent race to be seventh in the Derby to Anthony Van Dyck.

Setting the form standard is Aidan O’Brien’s Japan, beaten less than a length at Epsom in third.

“We haven’t done a lot with him since the Derby, but he seems in good order since then,” O’Brien told attheraces.com.

“We thought he would take a big forward from the Dante to the Derby and we were delighted with his run there. He has the potential to improve again.”

O’Brien also runs the unexposed Jack Yeats.

Andrew Balding’s Bangkok, fancied for the Derby but disappointing, and William Haggas’ Pablo Escobarr, second to Anthony Van Dyck at Lingfield, also hold claims.

Balding said: “I really don’t know what happened in the Derby as his run was way below expectations. His work has been great since, as it was before. Nothing came to light, so we will try again and he seems in good form.

“We did consider coming back in trip for the Hampton Court, but we had other runners in that. His pedigree suggests he will stay.

“Silvestre (de Sousa) felt it was the track rather than the trip at Epsom, so we will try again. I would be a little worried about the ground and that is another unknown.”

Richard Hannon has two chances in the Albany Stakes, with Kemble and Separate lining up in a 25-runner field.

“I was a little disappointed with Kemble first time at Newmarket, but that race has turned out very well. The winner was favourite for the Queen Mary and the second came out and won the Marygate. That is very good form,” said Hannon in his Unibet blog.

“When she went to Windsor she bolted up and looked a good filly. Since Windsor, she has really matured, she looks great.

“Separate ran into a very good horse of Paul Cole’s first time. Second time she got no luck in that Marygate Fillies’ Stakes, she would have run very well.

“Last time she was the best filly in the race and she won as I expected her to. She’s a very disciplined filly, she deals with everything very well.”

Wesley Ward runs Nayibeth and Chili Petin and said on attheraces.com of the former: “She’s always been my favourite of all my two-year-olds from when we started breezing them early on.”

There will be plenty cheering on William Haggas’ Magnetic Charm in the Sandringham Handicap.

“I’ve had no luck for Her Majesty the Queen at Royal Ascot yet, but to try to win a race there would be big stuff for us and we try hard to do so,” said Haggas.

“She won well at York and they put her up 5lb. I couldn’t have her in better condition and that’s my view. I liked her last year and she never really got her ground.

“She doesn’t want it too soft, as she loves quick ground. She stays well, so hopefully they will go a good gallop.”

Private Secretary on duty for Gosden in King Edward
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