Telescope set for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot
Last Updated: 16/07/14 3:30pm
Telescope is reported to have taken Royal Ascot in his stride and is set for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Sir Michael Stoute's charge gained a second Group Two success with a brilliant seven length defeat of stablemate Hillstar in the Hardwicke Stakes and the highly-regarded four-year-old is now set for a step up to the top grade.
The Galileo colt is pencilled in for a return to Ascot and Harry Herbert, racing manager to owners Highclere, revealed that they are excited about the prospect of running him.
"We are all looking forward to seeing him back at Ascot for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes next week," he told Oli Bell in an interview for www.racinguk.com.
"Telescope has come out of his race at Royal Ascot in great form. He is a much stronger and more relaxed horse this year who has been brilliantly handled by Sir Michael Stoute."
Highclere and Stoute have some fond memories of the Ascot Group One having taken the prestigious prize with Harbinger (who had won the Hardwicke Stakes on his preceding start) in 2010 in scintiallating fashion but Herbert is not keen to draw comparisons between the pair just yet.
"At Ascot he showed that he is definitely a top-class performer, but he has a way to go yet if he is to be rated as high as Harbinger, Petrushka or Lake Coniston - not to mention Motivator that we managed for the Royal Ascot Racing Club," he opined.
There was a school of thought that Telescope failed to handle the testing ground at Sandown on his reappearance but connections will not seek to avoid soft conditions in the future.
"We won't avoid soft ground, unless it is really bad. Telescope's two races at the start of this season were on awful ground and probably over the wrong trip.
"Also, Sir Michael knew that Telescope would need the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown as he was so much more relaxed in his homework and was proving hard to get match fit.
"So much depends [where he goes next] on how he does in the King George, but we will look at races like the Juddmonte International and the Irish Champion Stakes, as well as the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
"The QIPCO Champion Stakes might also be considered depending on ground. I know that Sir Michael believes that on the right surface he can be competitive at the highest level over a mile and a quarter so one or more of these options will be considered," he added.