Flying Officer: beat Clever Cookie on Champions Day
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
LAST year’s Long Distance Cup winner Flying Officer makes his return to action in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes on Wednesday, the highlight of a stellar Ascot card.
Flying Officer faces nine rivals on his return in the Sagaro, including 2015 winner Mizzou, who signed off last season with a creditable second behind Max Dynamite in the Lonsdale Cup at York.
The popular Clever Cookie has also been declared, as has his Nottingham conqueror Frosty Berry, who appeared to show much improved form when springing a shock to win the Listed Further Flight Stakes.
Limato won last year’s Pavilion Stakes before going on to finish runner-up in the Commonwealth Cup and connections of the nine horses declared for this year’s renewal will also be hoping to make an impact at Royal Ascot.
Washington DC, who represents the powerful Aidan O’Brien yard, has already won at the Royal meeting having landed the Windsor Castle Stakes last season and he is likely to be popular on Wednesday, arriving on the back of a comfortable comeback win at Dundalk.
He clashes with Hugo Palmer’s Gifted Master, who has racked up four wins in succession and was not hard pressed to score on his return at Newmarket.
The card commences with a two-year-old conditions race, which features a belated clash between impressive Brocklesby winner The Last Lion and Wesley Ward’s Create A Dream. The pair had been due to meet at Doncaster but the US raider was a late withdrawal because of deteriorating ground conditions.
Sussex Stakes runner-up Arod is set to make his seasonal reappearance in the Listed Paradise Stakes, sprinkling further stardust on Ascot’s first Flat meeting of the season.
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