King Ottokar set for Hampton Court clash

Ben Curtis riding King Ottokar to win at Newbury
Image: Ben Curtis riding King Ottokar to win at Newbury

Charlie Fellowes hopes a drop in trip can help King Ottokar get his career back on track in the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot.

After running out an impressive winner of a conditions contest at Newbury on his return, the son of Motivator appeared to find the extended mile and a half beyond him last time out when sent off joint-favourite for the Chester Vase.

The Newmarket trainer anticipates a much better display from the Paul Roy-owned three-year-old on his return to a mile and a quarter in the Group Three prize - provided ground conditions are in his favour.

Fellowes said: "King Ottokar is being trained for the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot. I'm delighted to see this rain arrive, and we would like to see as much as possible.

"He seems to be in great form and he has been training well and is very much on track for the race. The only thing we don't want is really quick ground.

"I think a mile and a quarter is what he wants for now - although I think he will get a mile and a half in time, ridden with more patience.

"He has got lots of speed, because his mother (Treasure) was a five-furlong Listed winner - so he is quick, and not slow."

Fellowes fears stablemate Carnwennan may miss out on getting in the Ascot Stakes and have to wait for the Northumberland Vase at Newcastle later this month.

He added: "The plan will be to head for the Ascot Stakes - but I don't think he will get in off a mark of 87, because I think he needs to be in the low 90s. So in that case, we will probably look at the Northumberland Plate consolation race.

"He would go well at Newcastle, because he will love the track there and he will suit the big field with a good gallop.

"We knew that Chelmsford wouldn't really suit him last time, especially with the small field, but it was the last chance before Ascot to try to get his mark up a bit."

Last year's Melbourne Cup third Prince Of Arran, who has not been sighted since finishing down the field in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan in March, has begun his build up towards a shot at the Sky Bet Ebor at York in August.

Fellowes added: "Prince Of Arran is in great form and he began cantering back two weeks ago.

"We are bringing him along slowly, with the Ebor in mind, but he seems to be in good shape."

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