All systems go for royal Classic contender Desert Hero

Desert Hero continues to please William Haggas, as the build-up to a royal runner with a real chance in the Betfred St Leger continues to gather pace.

Haggas, who guided Horse of the Year Baaeed with such expertise last season, is well aware of the attention that will be on the Royal Ascot and Gordon Stakes winner as Doncaster on September 16 draws ever nearer.

The Newmarket trainer took the decision to eschew another outing in the Great Voltigeur at York in preference for keeping the three-year-old fresh.

Having already provided the King and Queen with their first Royal Ascot success, were he to land them a Classic, his name would be etched in Turf history forever.

The King would also be emulating the late Queen as the owner of a St Leger winner, after Dunfermline won at Doncaster in 1977, which was Silver Jubilee year.

“Desert Hero is absolutely fine, he worked Thursday morning and I’m very happy with him,” said Haggas.

“We toyed with the idea of York for the Voltigeur, but in the end we just felt what was the point.”

He added: “I realise that we might be getting a phone call a day from the press, I can feel it coming, but I’d rather that than nothing at all.”

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