King Of Steel seeking Royal Ascot compensation
King Of Steel has the chance to pick up some compensation for his Derby near-miss when he lines up in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Roger Varian’s imposing son of Wootton Bassett was making only his first appearance of the season when finding just Auguste Rodin too good at Epsom, but having highlighted his supreme potential on that occasion, will carry the hopes of owners Amo Racing who crave success at this meeting.
It is just 20 days since the colt’s huge effort on the Surrey Downs, but the Carlburg handler believes he has taken his first outing of the year in his stride and is excited to see his talented middle-distance performer back on track.
“He has looked great from the day he got back from Epsom and is in good form,” said Varian.
“He looked a good horse at Epsom and hopefully he can confirm that on Friday. He looked very good in defeat and that bodes well for this week, the rest of the season and beyond hopefully. We hope he is a consistent Group One performer – they are the horses you want in the stable and hopefully he is one of them.
“It’s exciting to have a good horse and be involved in the big races. They are not easy to win, but he looks like a horse who will take us to the big spots and we look forward to Friday.”
Chief among the opposition is the John and Thady Gosden-trained Arrest, who disappointed when sent off favourite for the Derby in the hands of Frankie Dettori, but will be attempting to bounce back to the form that saw the son of Frankel claim the Chester Vase on his penultimate start.
Charlie Johnston’s Dubai Mile and Ralph Beckett’s Artistic Star will also attempt to better their respective showings in the premier Classic.
Varian also has a strong hand in the Albany Stakes that kicks off proceedings, with Jabaara, who made an impressive debut at Newmarket in the race the trainer used to prepare Daahyeh for Royal Ascot glory in 2019.
“She’s a good filly, I think, and has been training really well,” said Varian.
“She will like the fast ground if it stays that way and six furlongs looks her trip for the moment. She’s an exciting filly, I think.”
Simon and Ed Crisford’s Carla’s Way and George Boughey’s Soprano both arrive with a similar profile having won in taking fashion first time, while Porta Fortuna brings added experience and Group Three-winning form from Ireland having defeated the reopposing Navassa Island at Naas last month.
The daughter of Caravaggio is the mount of Frankie Dettori on this occasion and is one of two in the race for Donnacha O’Brien, who also saddles Curragh scorer Do It With Style.
“She’s done nothing wrong yet and won nicely first time out on heavy ground, then stepped up to six on better ground and won a Group Three,” said O’Brien.
“She’s a classy filly and we’re looking to see her run. It’s great to have Frankie on board, he obviously brings plenty of experience and has had a lot of success so it’s great to be able to get him.”
He added: “Do it with Style is a lovely filly, she won nicely at the Curragh and has always worked like a nice filly. She’s only had the one run compared to the other filly, but she’s nice and we hope she will run a good race.”
Amo Racing’s retained rider Kevin Stott has chosen Persian Dreamer out of the owners’ four runners as Dominic Ffrench Davis’ filly attempts to bounce back from defeat in the Marygate at York.
Before that she created a deep impression on debut at Newmarket and connections are hopeful of a return to her best now stepping up in trip.
“I haven’t lost any faith in Persian Dreamer, she was very impressive on debut,” said Tom Pennington, racing and operations manager at Amo Racing.
“The sharp five furlongs on quick ground at York in the Marygate has probably played against her and she didn’t let herself down. She’s a big, strong filly and just didn’t enjoy the ground.”
Flaccianello, Komat and Mapmaker are the others to line up for Kia Joorabchian’s operation, with the latter picked out by Joorabchian himself at the sales as a yearling.
“She’s a nice filly and won well last time at Newbury in a good time,” continued Pennington.
“Kia bought her on spec in the ring at Tattersalls so it will be a nice story if she can run well.
“She’s bounced out of Newbury in good form, whether she is good enough is another question, but Darryll (Holland, trainer) is very happy with her.”
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