Go Bears Go is 8/1 (Sky Bet) to win Commonwealth Cup after being beaten as favourite in last month's Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock; watch every race at Royal Ascot live on Sky Sports Racing from Tuesday June 14 to Saturday June 18
Tuesday 7 June 2022 17:40, UK
Trainer David Loughnane says it is full steam ahead for Go Bears Go’s Royal Ascot rematch with Perfect Power as the team look to bounce back from defeat in the Sandy Lane Stakes.
The sprinter emerged as one of the leading stars of the two-year-old division last season after being dramatically denied victory in a thrilling battle with Richard Fahey's Perfect Power in the Norfolk Stakes at the Royal meeting.
Redemption would arrive in the Group Two Railway Stakes just nine days later, before again being narrowly beaten in the Phoenix Stakes and at the Breeders' Cup.
Watch every race from Royal Ascot, live only on Sky Sports Racing from Tuesday June 14 to Saturday June 18
All roads this season have led to next Friday's Commonwealth Cup, including success at Ascot's Trials Day, before disappointing in fourth when sent off favourite at Haydock last month.
"Go Bears Go's preparation has all gone very smoothly," Loughnane told Tattersalls. "Things didn't go to plan in the Sandy Lane but he's come out of the race very well.
"He's probably as annoyed as anyone because he knows when he's beaten and works harder at home. It's all systems go now."
Reflecting on the Norfolk Stakes, Loughnane added "I'd be lying if I didn't say it wasn't heartbreaking at the time. I went in there thinking we were the best horse, I walked out thinking we were the best horse.'
"I know Perfect Power went on to be a very good horse and I'm not taking anything away from him, but on the day if something came our way and came up the right side with us, I still think we'd have won."
Loughnane celebrated his first Royal Ascot success at last year's five-day meeting with Lola Showgirl and the young handler again sends a strong squad to support Go Bears Go.
There could be an added reason to celebrate this year as he sends two new recruits in search of Tattersalls' £125,000 Craven Royal Ascot Bonus.
Omniqueen, a 200,000 guineas purchase by owner Amo Racing and Kerri Radcliffe, will be aimed at the Group Two Queen Mary Stakes over five furlongs after an impressive winning debut over course and distance, while Walbank - bought for a sale-topping 525,000 guineas - was last seen when powering home to win at York by seven lengths.
"Omniqueen is a very nice Tasleet filly," Loughnane explained. "She was very impressive first time out at Ascot. She was only ever going to improve from the run. She put them to the sword and put them to bed. She will most likely head to the Queen Mary now.'
"She's come out of her last race and seems to have taken a big step forward mentally and physically. She's a real exciting filly and hopefully she'll be one of our chances to win the £125,000 Craven Bonus.
"[Walbank] put in a great performance at Ascot, we bumped into a very good horse of Godolphin's in Noble Style. Rossa didn't knock him about that day. He then went to York and was ultra-impressive.'
See the latest horse racing news, interviews and features from Sky Sports Racing
"To win a race on your second start at York; it's a big, daunting track, no more than Ascot, and to do it under a hands and heels ride and be within a couple of seconds of the last six winners of the Nunthorpe - it is impressive to do that on dead ground.'
"He'll have entries in the Windsor Castle and the Norfolk. The Norfolk is the obvious choice with how impressive he was at York, but a £125,000 Craven Bonus, if the Windsor Castle looks an easier race - there is no such thing as an easy race at Royal Ascot, but he's certainly got a lot of speed and it could play to his strengths."