Ghostwriter booked for Royal Lodge challenge

Clive Cox is eager to test the big-race credentials of Ghostwriter in the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes after the exciting prospect maintained his unbeaten record on his latest start at Ascot.

The son of Invincible Spirit was sent off at 9-1 on debut at Newmarket, but made a mockery of his odds when sauntering to an impressive three-and-a-half-length victory.

He then confirmed the promise of that performance when making all in encouraging fashion in the hands of William Buick at Ascot, defying his inexperience in the closing stages to pull away for a cosy one-and-a-quarter-length success.

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Cox has always had Newmarket’s Royal Lodge earmarked as the place to raise the sights of the Jeff Smith-owned youngster and he is now firmly on course for a step up to Group Two company on September 30.

“With a penalty, to stretch away as pleasingly as he did was great. He is still a bit green and now has a bit more experience under his belt and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the progress he’s making,” said Cox.

“He’s got size, scope and a wonderful pedigree and he’s come through his first two races with a lot of promise and excitement.

“We entered him for the Royal Lodge with Ascot being the ideal stepping stone if everything progressed as well as it has, so I very much intend, all being well, to head in that direction.”

Jockey Jim Crowley dismounts from Jasour after winning at Newmarket
Jockey Jim Crowley dismounts from Jasour after winning at Newmarket (Tim Goode/PA)

Also on track for Newmarket is Jasour, with the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes – on the same afternoon as the Royal Lodge – the preferred destination for the July Stakes scorer.

The form of that Group Two victory was given a welcome boost when the William Haggas-trained runner-up Lake Forest claimed the Gimcrack, but Jasour has a small point to prove having disappointed at Deauville when seeking Group One riches in the Prix Morny.

However, Cox is confident the son of Havana Grey should be judged on his previous endeavours and the youngster is backed to recover from a minor blip in his fledgling career.

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“Jasour is in excellent form,” he added.

“He has a Middle Park entry which would be our intended target. I couldn’t be more pleased with the way he has conducted himself at home after a sideways step in the Morny.

“I think we still believe the horse we saw at Newmarket in July is a true witness to what we have really got.”

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