Chaldean firmly on course for QEII outing on Champion Day

Classic hero Chaldean is on course to make his return to action in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot next month.

Having carried the Juddmonte silks to victory in the 2000 Guineas in the spring, Andrew Balding’s Frankel colt subsequently came off second best in a Royal Ascot clash with Paddington before failing to fire as a hot favourite for the Prix Jean Prat in France.

Chaldean has been given plenty of time to recover from that disappointing effort in early July and connections are hopeful he will show his true colours on Qipco British Champions Day.

“It’s all systems go for the QEII, I spoke with Andrew yesterday and he’s very happy with him,” Juddmonte’s racing manager Barry Mahon told Sky Sports Racing.

“The horse worked very well on Saturday and he’s continuing to progress. He’ll have a racecourse gallop in the next couple of weeks, just to put him spot-on.

“Initially we’d hoped to get to the Joel Stakes, but we’re just a little bit behind schedule after a little break on the farm where he obviously did very well physically and put on plenty of condition.

“He needed it after France, he’d had a couple of hard races, so he just needed a few weeks away and he’s fresh and well and ready to go for the QEII hopefully.

“He’s got a lot stronger and has always been quite a laid-back horse. It’s took a bit of work to get his mind focussed and get him back to race fitness, but he’s coming there slowly but surely and I think they’re all very happy with him in Kingsclere.”

The Juddmonte team also had Classic aspirations for the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Nostrum earlier in the year before injury ruled him out of the first half of the campaign.

He made a spectacular return in a Listed race at Newmarket’s July meeting, but suffered a surprise defeat on his next start at Goodwood and returned lame after finishing last of six at York last time.

Mahon is uncertain whether Nostrum will run again this term, but is nevertheless keeping the faith.

He added: “He came out of York and was quite sore behind and needed a bit of a rest and some treatment. He’s now back cantering and Michael and his team are happy with him, but they’re just going to take their time and build him back up gradually and let the horse tell us when he’s ready. If that’s the back end of the season for one more run great and if it’s not it’ll be next season.

“In fairness to the horse he had an injury at the start of the season when we were preparing him for a Guineas campaign and it’s just put us on the back foot a little bit all year.

“He was so impressive in Newmarket during the July meeting, I think that showed us the ability the horse has, but it’s just been a rushed campaign.”

Source link