Royal Ascot raid for McPeek

Last Updated: 30/04/14 12:20pm

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US trainer Kenny McPeek is hoping to have plenty of runners at Royal Ascot.

US trainer Kenny McPeek is hoping to have plenty of runners at Royal Ascot.

Sky Bet

A total of 243 entries have been received for four Group Two contests at Royal Ascot, with international representation from America, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Scandinavia and the UAE.

US handler Kenny McPeek is preparing a diverse team of horses for the Royal Meeting, headed by the top-class three-year-old Rosalind, who is among 78 entries for the 12-furlong Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes on day three, Thursday, June 19.

The daughter of Broken Vow, who is also entered in the Group One Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs, was beaten half a length into third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on dirt at Santa Anita in November.

She dead-heated for the Grade One Ashland Stakes over an extended Polytrack mile at Keeneland on April 5 and is one of the leading contenders for this weekend's Grade One Kentucky Oaks over nine furlongs on dirt at Churchill Downs.

McPeek said: "Rosalind has done super since the Ashland and is all set for the Kentucky Oaks on Friday. It depends on how she gets on this weekend, but there is a good chance she will come to Europe as I am keen to get her on the grass.

"She's in the Oaks at Epsom and two races at Royal Ascot, but I am not favouring one over the other. I just wanted to keep my options open."

Frac Daddy, also trained by McPeek, is among 46 entries for the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes over a mile and a half on the fifth and final day of Royal Ascot, Saturday, June 21.

The four-year-old was second in the Grade One Arkansas Derby on dirt in April, 2013, but put in a career best performance on the Polytrack at Keeneland when an impressive four and three-quarter length winner of the nine-furlong Grade Three Ben Ali Stakes on April 19.

McPeek said: "We would like to bring Frac Daddy over for the Hardwicke Stakes. We are still working on the logistics of it all but hopefully that will play out well.

"He has been doing super since his win at Keeneland and he was quite impressive that day. It was by far his best performance and he is a horse that seems to be getting better and better with age.

"We think he will handle the step up to a mile and a half, but it's just a matter of if he will handle the change of direction.

"He will train here in Kentucky at Magdalena Farm in preparation for going to Ascot, but I'm not sure if he will run again beforehand."

Entries for the Hardwicke Stakes, which has no penalties, also include last season's Derby and St Leger heroes Ruler Of The World and Leading Light, who are among six entries for Ireland's champion trainer Aidan O'Brien.

French maestro Andre Fabre could run Grand Prix de Paris victor Flintshire, while Sir Michael Stoute, the most successful trainer in the race with seven victories, has a four-strong entry including Telescope and Hillstar.

Kentucky-based McPeek is also hoping to bring over recent Group Three scorer Occasional View and a small team of two-year-olds.

He added: "I want to bring Occasional View over for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group One, six furlongs, June 21). He won well last time and could go to Canada for a stakes race on May 17. If he wins that, then he is almost a definite for Ascot.

"I am also going to try to bring three two-year-olds. One will go for the Chesham, one for the Norfolk and one for the Albany."

Last year's Coronation Stakes heroine Sky Lantern (Richard Hannon) headlines 38 entries for the Group Two Duke Of Cambridge Stakes on Wednesday, June 18, while the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes on Friday, June 20, often referred to as the Ascot Derby, has received 81 entries.

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