Almaqam team yet to make Royal Ascot call

Ed Walker is still weighing up the options for his hugely-promising Sandown winner Almaqam.

The Heron Stakes scorer is heading to Royal Ascot but whether Walker pitches him in against 2000 Guineas winner Notable Speech in the St James’s Palace Stakes or steps him up in trip to 10 furlongs for the Hampton Court has yet to be decided.

“We haven’t decided yet, we’re going to see how he is working and speak to the team and make a plan,” said Walker.

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“It will either be the St James’s Palace or the Hampton Court, but we haven’t decided yet.

“I can’t see 10 furlongs being an issue but he has plenty of speed. I think if there was a mile Group Three or Group Two we’d probably go for that but there isn’t, so it’s either go in the deep end or a bit more progression – but I don’t think the Hampton Court will be easy anyway.

“He’s an exciting horse either way.”

Harper’s Ferry is another promising three-year-old in the yard but he blotted his copybook when refusing to enter the stalls before the Dee Stakes at Chester.

Harper's Ferry (left) was second to Moon Over Miami at Doncaster
Harper’s Ferry (left) was second to Moon Over Miami at Doncaster (Nigel French/PA)

With a handicap mark of 88, all options remain open to him.

“He’s good, he’s in great form and has passed his stalls test, we’ve hopefully ironed out some of those quirks,” said Walker.

“He could go anywhere really. We’re undecided whether we go down the handicap route or in group races over a mile and half or a mile and a quarter.

“He could do anything, so we’ve got loads of options and we’ll have him well entered up.”

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