George Margarson is looking at a winter campaign on the all-weather with Protected Guest after revealing the four-year-old is unlikely to run in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
The stayers’ championship final at Lingfield on Good Friday will be a main target for the Helmet gelding, who has appreciated being stepped up to longer distances.
“It looks like being sticky old ground at Ascot, so he’s very unlikely to run,” said the Newmarket trainer.
“There are quite a few all-weather races for him and one of his targets will be the stayers’ race at Lingfield. We’ll have a look at one of those qualifying races.
“We’ll probably give him a break first.
“He’s still only a baby really. We looked after him last year and we’ve looked after him this year.
“I think next year we’ll see a decent horse.”
Margarson is aiming Ropey Guest at the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket on October 12 on the back of his third place in the Tattersalls Stakes at Headquarters.
It was another creditable effort by the son of Cable Bay in top juvenile company, who has yet to win a race in eight attempts.
“He’ll probably go for the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket and that will be him for the year,” said Margarson.
“The mile will bring out a bit better horse in him. I’ve been holding him back as I didn’t want to push him too far too soon.
“I was a bit disappointed I didn’t win the maiden with him at Ascot.
“He has to have a good pace. In those maidens they don’t go quick enough.”