Persian Force sent to Coventry with high hopes

The Amo Racing silks will be spotted plenty over the course of Royal Ascot – but connections feel their best chance of the week comes in Tuesday’s Coventry Stakes with Persian Force.

Winner of the Brocklesby Stakes by almost five lengths at Doncaster on the opening day of the season, the Richard Hannon-trained colt has only run once more since.

Sent off an odds-on favourite for a conditions event at Newbury, yet again he displayed an electric turn of foot when winning by two and a half lengths.

He faces what looks a strong field on paper but Emily Scott, Amo’s racing manger, is heading to Ascot with high hopes.

“He goes there with a great chance. I think the horse has got to do the talking now, but it’s going to be very exciting,” she said.

“We do have a few chances each day this week, but he is certainly the one we’re taking there with highest expectations, I would say.

“There’s often a big-priced winner of the Coventry. The fact that he’s the 3-1 second-favourite tells you he’s got a big reputation, but he’s got to go there and prove it on the track.”

The one one ahead of him in the betting is Aidan O’Brien’s Blackbeard, who is three from three so far.

Blackbeard is unbeaten in three for Aidan O'Brien
Blackbeard is unbeaten in three for Aidan O’Brien (Brian Lawless/PA)

O’Brien also runs the promising Age Of Kings, the mount of Frankie Dettori, but Ryan Moore has gone with the unbeaten runner.

“We always thought Blackbeard was a nice horse and he went and won first time,” O’Brien told the ITV Racing podcast.

“Then next time he barely won at the Curragh and we were a little disappointed, but then we were happy that the horse he just beat (Crispy Cat) came out and was just beaten in the National Stakes (at Sandown).

“We weren’t sure about six furlongs with him so we took him to the Curragh, he won very well and it looked like he might be better over six than five.

“He’s a hardy customer, he’s obviously fit, he’s had three runs and our Coventry horses usually just have two and he seems to be in good shape. I’m looking forward to seeing him run.”

In a field full of potential, others to note include Archie Watson’s Bradsell, a nine-length winner at York and the mount of Hollie Doyle, Paul and Oliver Cole’s Royal Scotsman, who a five-length winner at Goodwood, and Clive Cox’s Scholarship.

Also of note is the once-raced Paddy’s Day, trained by Charlie Hills and who numbers champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls among his owners.

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