Ascot return on the radar for Hunt Cup winner Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix could return to Ascot next month for the Group Two Summer Mile after leading home stablemate Sonny Liston in the Royal Hunt Cup.

Both horses are trained by Ralph Beckett and the notable one-two in the valuable 30-runner mile handicap provided a major success for the Chelsea Thoroughbreds syndicate, who own them.

Emma Spencer, managing director and racing manager for the syndicates, outlined plans for both horses.

“It means a lot because we have been there or thereabouts before,” she said.

“A furlong out, you are thinking we’ve got this covered, but it is quite a nice position to be in. You need horses doing that to keep the show on the road. It means a lot for sure.

“They are two really nice horses, very different. Jimi was obviously third in the Britannia there the year before. He likes Ascot, but to win his race by nine lengths on his side was an incredible performance.

“Sonny Liston was gelded over the winter, so it was really nice to see him coming back to kind of what we know he can do and he won his race quite comfortably on his side.

“It was a really good result. Ralph is so accurate with how he thinks horses are going to run. He thought Sonny Liston would go close and he was dead right.”

A Jimi Hendrix and Sonny Liston straight forecast was music to the ears of one lucky owner, who had a share in both Chelsea Thoroughbred syndicate horses – and he duly delivered a knockout blow to bookmakers.

Sent off at odds of 22-1 and 25-1 respectively, the one-two returned a straight forecast dividend of £499.75.

“Sadly I didn’t back the forecast, but we have an owner who is in both syndicates, who did. He won a lot of money,” said Spencer.

“Let’s hope he invests again! They are the only two horses he has in training and he has a share in both of them. To do the forecast, you can’t do an awful lot better.”

Jimi Hendrix has risen 8lb to a mark of 111 following his two-length success and could make a quick return to the Berkshire track.

Spencer revealed: “There are a couple of options for Jimi. He is obviously very good at Ascot. There is the Summer Mile, which is a Group Two on July 15. That is only three and a half weeks, so that could be an option, or maybe the Strensall Stakes, a Group Three at York on August 26.

“Ralph will not run something unless he is totally happy.”

Sonny Liston, who was sporting first-time blinkers and was first of 16 home who raced on the stands’ side, has risen 4lb to a mark of 104. He could go up in trip for his next outing.

“He had an entry in the John Smith’s Cup, which I think he will take up, because he goes unpenalised,” said Spencer.

“I think Ralph felt a mile and a quarter before Ascot would be his ideal trip.

“We don’t know. He was placed in the Dee at Chester over a mile and a quarter last year. Who knows if it is a mile he wants or a mile and a quarter, but it is good prize-money.

“The alternate option would be the valuable Coral Golden Mile at Goodwood, but last year we did that with Jimi Hendrix and were drawn 21 of 21.”

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