Postponed missed out on a start in the King George at Ascot
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Richard birch 9:00AM 5 AUG 2016
POSTPONED is on target for York’s Juddmonte International a week on Wednesday, for which he is widely quoted as 11-4 favourite, as connections eye a first Group 1 victory over a mile and a quarter for the brilliant five-year-old.
Winner of his last five starts, which include three top-level triumphs at a mile and a half, the son of Dubawi was last month unable to defend the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes crown he lifted last year after being diagnosed with a respiratory infection just days before Ascot’s midsummer showpiece.
However, Postponed has been pleasing trainer Roger Varian in his work and will bid to add to his tally on the Knavesmire.
“Postponed wasn’t 100 per cent before the King George, so he didn’t run,” Varian said. “I’m happy with him now and he’s on course to run at York.
“Winning a Group 1 over a mile and a quarter with him is a big objective. If he could win one it would certainly add to his CV.”
A tilt at the 1m2f Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot in October is not part of Postponed’s plan this year and he was not among the entries published on Wednesday.
“He’s more likely to contest the Arc,” Varian added. “There are lots of ifs and buts about possible races after that, but he could go to the Breeders’ Cup.”
Ascot goal for Belardo
Postponed’s stablemate Belardo , who finished runner-up to Solow in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes last October, has been given an entry for the Ascot Group 1 once again – but he won’t have the French superstar in opposition this time.
Solow, on the sidelines with a leg injury since stretching his winning run to ten at Chantilly in March, has still not returned to training with Freddy Head.
“Ascot would come too soon for Solow,” the trainer said. “He’s not back at the stables yet. It would be too optimistic to think about getting him ready in time for Ascot.
“It’s still too early to say whether he’ll run again this year. There are question marks. We’re taking our time with him, only time will tell.”
Belardo, reported “in good form” by Varian, is due to make his first appearance since an honourable Queen Anne Stakes second to Tepin in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday week.