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Aktabantay may miss St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot

California Chrome (right), ridden by Frankie Dettori, during the workout at Ascot
Image: Aktabantay (l) works with California Chrome at Ascot

Hugo Palmer has warned Aktabantay is not certain to make his seasonal reappearance in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Although the three-year-old worked over seven furlongs of the Berkshire track under Michael Hills alongside American superstar California Chrome on Thursday morning, the Newmarket handler made it clear a question mark still remains over his participation at the meeting.

Last year's Solario Stakes winner has not been seen since finishing sixth in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp in October, a race in which subsequent dual 2000 Guineas hero Gleneagles finished first past the post before later being demoted, having picked up an injury before his intended outing in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita.

Palmer said: "That was ideal and I could not be any happier with what he has done this morning.

"It was an enormous bonus for us to come here and work with California Chrome. It will have brought him on a ton. He is not far off, but it is a case of taking it a day at a time.

"We wanted to try and get a racecourse gallop into him. It was important to him and nice for him to have an away day

"I think what we found out today though that if he does run, and that is a big 'if', it will be in the St James's Palace Stakes. It would be asking an enormous question of a young horse first time out to take on the best in his generation.

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"He has won a Group Three and been placed in a Group Two, and if he ran into a place in the St James's Palace that would further enhance his stallion value."

Should Aktabantay not take his chance in the mile Group One event on June 16, Palmer outlined two other possible races he could return in.

Palmer said: "If he didn't run in the St James's Palace Stakes his last opportunity to run over a mile against three-year olds would be in the Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly.

"He could also run in the Sir Henry Cecil Stakes at Newmarket's July Festival, but as it is a Listed race he would have to carry a penalty and it would only be a stepping stone for him."

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