Defoe in good shape for Hardwicke Stakes defence

Six-year-old ‘paid the price’ for chasing Ghaiyyath in Coronation Cup.

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Roger Varian hopes stable flag-bearer Defoe can rediscover his best form by landing back-to-back renewals of the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot on Friday.

The six-year-old will bid to become the first horse since the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Maraahel in 2006 and 2007 to win the Group Two prize in successive seasons

Athough Defoe failed to defend his crown in the rearranged Coronation Cup on his seasonal return at Newmarket, the Carlburg Stables handler reports the Dalakhani gelding to have taken the race well.

Varian said: “Defoe is in great form. He just paid the price for chasing the monster that is Ghaiyyath on quick ground at Newmarket.

“He has come out the race well which is great to see and he will now try to repeat his win in the Hardwicke Stakes.

“Hopefully he can leave his Newmarket run behind and move on.”

Defoe in good shape for Hardwicke Stakes defence

Ascot 15:00, 19 June 2020

Ascot 15:00, 19 June 2020

Ascot 15:00, 19 June 2020

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