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Al Aasy booked for King George date at Ascot

William Haggas is beginning to plan both Al Aasy and Mohaafeth’s Group One assignments next month following their contrasting fortunes at Epsom and Royal Ascot respectively.

Haggas reports the two Shadwell Estate colts have recovered well from their exertions, with Sandown’s Coral-Eclipse still in the mix for Mohaafeth and Al Aasy on course for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

Al Aasy was last seen at Epsom, in the Coronation Cup, but failed by a neck to justify favouritism in search of his first Group One success after starting his campaign with two impressive Newbury victories at Group Three level.

He is set to try again at Ascot on July 24 – and while Mohaafeth also has a King George entry, he is likely to stick to 10 furlongs when he tries Group One company for the first time, potentially at Sandown on July 3.

It was a surprise to many that Al Aasy narrowly failed to cope with Pyledriver at Epsom, but Haggas confirmed the plan remains to head to Ascot in a month’s time – when he may well face the same opponent again, along with several more of the best middle-distance horses in training.

“I was a bit disappointed he didn’t win,” he said.

“But we all get disappointed if we don’t win. But he’s fine, and he’s going to go for the King George.

“There’ll be plenty of opposition in that.”

Mohaafeth in winning action at Royal Ascot
Mohaafeth in winning action at Royal Ascot (David Davies/PA)

The Newmarket trainer made a difficult call to miss the Derby with much-improved Mohaafeth when rain arrived and the ground went against him at Epsom – a decision which was vindicated by a commanding success for the son of Frankel on a sound surface in last week’s Hampton Court Stakes.

As for Mohaafeth’s Eclipse date, the Newmarket trainer added: “We hope so. It’s not set in stone – we’ll see how he is (nearer the time).

“He had a hard race at Ascot, so we’ll see.

“They both seem absolutely fine, they’re good.”

Eclipse in reckoning as Gosden considers Lord North’s options

John Gosden will consider upcoming options for Lord North after he missed the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Fast ground at the Berkshire track meant the five-year-old was denied the chance to defend his crown in the Group One showpiece, with his trainer taking the view conditions were too quick for his gelding – who was last seen winning the Dubai Turf in March.

An obvious next target would appear to the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown, although that race has been marked out for the reappearance of brilliant stablemate Mishriff – and could even be a target for Queen Anne winner Palace Pier, should Gosden and son Thady opt to step him up in trip.

The Clarehaven trainer said: “I was hoping the ground would be all right for him, but it is too quick – as it was for William Haggas’ horse Addeybb. He will be doing the same. He’ll be looking at the Eclipse Stakes.

“We’re not afraid of running our horses against each other. I do like to see how they come 10 days after racing. Ascot to the Eclipse is always close. It would be 18 days for Palace Pier.”