Solid Stone back in domestic action at Chester

Sir Michael Stoute’s Solid Stone returns to British action in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing IRE-Incentive Scheme Huxley Stakes at Chester on Friday.

The six-year-old was last seen in the Neom Turf Cup in Riyadh in February, where he had little luck in running and was unsuited to the good to firm ground.

He had, however, been highly consistent previously, winning both the Legacy Cup and Winter Hill Stakes last year at Group Three level.

“Forget about his race in Saudi, he was stuck on the outside and it was much too firm for him, so we have drawn a line through that,” said Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saaed Suhail. “He likes good ground, but he’s got a good chance whatever.

“Our horse is working very well and we’re really happy with how he’s going.

“I think the track will suit him as well around Chester, he’s very consistent too and I think the race will suit him.”

Robert Havlin riding Megallan (right)
Robert Havlin riding Megallan (right) (Andrew Matthews/PA)

John and Thady Gosden are represented by Megallan, who finished third to Master Of The Seas in the Group Three Earl of Sefton Stakes on his reappearance last month.

“He ran very well there, he just got beaten by a proper horse in Master Of The Seas,” said Thady Gosden.

“He’s obviously come on for the race with it being his first run of the season.

“They’ve had plenty of rain at Chester, which shouldn’t be too much of a problem. You wouldn’t want it bottomless, so hopefully they don’t get too much more rain.”

Elsewhere in the race is Mick Channon’s Certain Lad, a prior Group Three winner who has not been seen since November 2020, and Paul and Oliver Cole’s Majestic Dawn.

Al Aasy misses Chester
Al Aasy misses Chester (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

The high-class Al Aasy (William Haggas) was due to make his seasonal return, but will instead run at Ascot on Saturday.

Angus Gold, racing manager to owners Shadwell, said: “I spoke to William this morning and he just felt, that with the rain and the ground becoming softer, he’d rather reroute to Ascot than run him on testing ground at Chester.”

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