Sprint trip expected to suit Ten Sovereigns

Middle Park winner was fifth in Guineas

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Aidan O’Brien expects Ten Sovereigns will feel the benefit of dropping back in trip to six furlongs when he lines up in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot on Friday.

The No Nay Never colt was unbeaten in three juvenile outings, culminating with victory in the Middle Park Stakes over this sprint trip last autumn.

Ten Sovereigns was sent off favourite for the Qipco 2000 Guineas on his return last month and while he could finish only fifth, O’Brien was satisfied with his effort but believes a sprint trip will suit him better still.

He said: “He travelled so well in the Guineas, he ran a great race but this was the trip he was very comfortable at last year so you’d imagine he’ll be happy.

“He was still in front on his side in the Guineas until late on having been up there all the way so we were actually delighted with him in the Guineas.”

Jash was beaten just half a length by Ten Sovereigns in the Middle Park and he will try to reverse that form in the feature race on day four.

Trained by Simon Crisford for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, Jash did not make his reappearance until the middle of May, winning a Newmarket Listed event, with second-placed Azano subsequently boosting the form with a win in France.

Angus Gold, the owner’s racing manager, said: “He is an interesting horse. In my opinion he doesn’t look like an out-and-out sprinter as he is a big, long, leggy horse who looks to go over a distance of ground.

“He took a long time to come right this spring, so we have only been able to get one run into him and have not been able to experiment enough to say one way or the other.

“But he was only just beaten in the Middle Park last year, so I can’t argue that he is not a six-furlong horse so we will see in the Commonwealth Cup if we are right about this trip or of we need to go further in time.

“Jash is a light-framed horse and normally they don’t want it too soft.

“I’m sure the race at Newmarket has brought him on. I’m sure Simon will say this as well, but he looked poor all spring and I was worried about him and he didn’t look right when he ran.

“I saw him 10 days ago and he has absolutely turned a corner. He has blossomed in his coat and looks really well now. I’m sure he is in a better place now.”

Sheikh Hamdan has a second string to his bow in the Charlie Hills-trained Khaadem, who won a Listed contest at Newbury last time out.

Gold added: “Khaadem, for me, is bred to be a sharp horse and looks it. I think he is a talented horse. He is buzzy and we have just got to keep on top of him.

“To be fair, he did nothing wrong the other day at Newbury. Is he good enough – who knows? We have got to take on Ten Sovereigns among others so we will see.

“I think Khaadem will handle a bit of easier ground – whether it stretches his stamina, that is another matter – but in terms of underfoot conditions he would handle that.”

Advertise finished a disappointing 15th in the 2000 Guineas, but Martyn Meade felt the colt had a valid excuse as he subsequently shut down his yard for a few weeks as his horses were under the weather.

The son of Showcasing had previously won three of his five two-year-old outings, including the Phoenix Stakes, and he will be sporting first-time blinkers in this Group One, which features as part of the Qipco British Champion Series.

Meade said: “We have to put a line through that run as it was obviously not him. He should have finished much closer. It was not a disaster but I was expecting much better than that.

“One can only put it down to the fact that he was a little bit below-par. It must have been one of those untraceable viruses because everything else was right with him. We scoped him immediately after the race and his blood was perfect.

“It’s why we had a month off and hopefully he will now reproduce what he is capable of. His form ties in with all the top two-year-old performers – he’s just got to reproduce it. I’ve been happy with the way the horses have been running since we called a halt.”

Rumble InThejungle finished fourth in the Norfolk Stakes at this meeting last year, but has not run since taking third place in the Middle Park.

Trainer Richard Spencer said: “He was slow to come to come to hand and we didn’t want to rush him. He’s a very good horse and there’s no point running them when they are not 110 per cent right.

“He’s come good in the last three weeks. We’ve been patient and I think it’s probably the best thing we could have done.”

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