Christophe Clement poised to begin Ascot Invasion

Christophe Clement is plotting to conquer Royal Ascot with Big Invasion when his American raider lines-up in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes.

The Declaration Of War colt is as big as 25-1 for the final Group One of the Royal meeting, but will head to the Berkshire track with match-fitness on his side having finished second in the Grade One Jaipur Stakes at Belmont earlier this month.

The US speedster is set to leave New York on Sunday to make his trip to the UK and on arrival will set up base at the Bedford House Stables Clement knows well from his time serving as assistant to Luca Cumani.

He said: “It is the plan at the moment to leave on Sunday and arrive on Monday and he will be running in the Jubilee. He will go to Newmarket and be stabled at Bedford House and then we will go from there.

“It is where Luca Cumani used to be and where I worked many years ago, I know the place really well.

“He’s a top-class sprinter. He has not always been that lucky unfortunately, but he is a nice horse and has a lot of speed. We are trying to get Jim Crowley to ride him.

“He’s just run so he’s fit and we don’t have to worry about his wellbeing. We just hope he can travel over well and as long as he travels over OK, then we are very hopeful.”

The four-year-old will be Clement’s third runner at the big summer meeting and he is hoping for a better experience than 12 months ago when both Pizza Bianca and Slipstream failed to make an impression in their respective races.

He continued: “Last year we didn’t do very good, it was a bad experience for me. On paper it was a bit ambitious to run the filly in the Coronation and the colt we ran came back very sore – it took me six months to get him back.

“Hopefully it will be a much more positive experience this year.”

However, Clement is unlikely to make the trip to Ascot this year with operations closer to home keeping him busy, so Big Invasion will be accompanied by the trainer’s son and assistant Miguel – once pupil assistant to Hugo Palmer – who will oversee the final touches of his big-race preparation in Newmarket.

He added: “I probably won’t make it over this year, I have too many runners here in Belmont Park, but my son Miguel will be there. He knows the horse well and is a full part of the team and will take care of him.”

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