Almodovar returns from retirement at Kempton

Almodovar returns to action in the British Stallion Studs EBF Hyde Stakes at Kempton – after failing to take to retirement.

The eight-year-old was a classy performer for both David Lanigan and Roger Charlton in his younger days, finishing third in the 2016 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot and beaten just two lengths by Crystal Ocean when fourth in the 2018 Gordon Richards Stakes.

Almodovar was last seen finishing second in the Group One Prix d’Ispahan in May of that year, but has not run since and is now with Ed Walker after owner Bjorn Nielsen decided to put the Sea The Stars gelding back into training.

Walker said: “Almodovar has kind of ended up here by accident really, having not taken to retirement too well.

“He was obviously a very good horse in his day, and we started him back earlier in the year. Brian O’Rourke (pre-trainer) had him for a long time, and he started showing him a bit.

“He had a racecourse gallop recently. But he is a massive horse, and there is no doubt he will need the run after such a long time off.

“Hopefully, he comes out of Wednesday in one piece, and then we can take it from there.”

Almodovar is one of 11 runners in the mile heat, which is a fast-track qualifier for the All Weather Championships Finals Day in the spring.

The Roger Varian-trained Khuzaam, William Haggas’ Johan and Kinross, who finished sixth in the 2000 Guineas for Ralph Beckett, also line up in search of the Listed honours.

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