Emily Upjohn on course for King George – but Desert Crown doubt

Emily Upjohn has been given the go-ahead to run in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on July 29.

Trainers John and Thady Gosden were reluctant to commit the four-year-old filly to the midsummer highlight in the immediate aftermath of her meritorious run in the Eclipse last weekend.

She was beaten just half a length at Sandown by Aidan O’Brien’s three-year-old colt Paddington, who was in receipt of 7lb.

The Gosdens are keen to step her back up in trip and have seen nothing this week that should prevent her from heading to Ascot, which was the scene of her only disappointing run to date in the race last year.

Gosden senior said: “After a race like that you take stock, but I couldn’t be more thrilled. She’s in great form with herself, I had to canter her again quickly.

“I’m very pleased with her and there’s no reason at the minute why she wouldn’t go to the King George.”

But one horse who might miss the King George is last year’s Derby winner Desert Crown, who was absent from Royal Ascot after a setback.

His trainer Sir Michael Stoute said: “We don’t know if we will get him ready in time (for the King George). He is back in fast work, so we will decide closer to the time. It’s a little bit tight time-wise.”

Gosden also had news of Mostahdaf, such an impressive winner of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“He goes to the International, he should enjoy York as he likes to play around before the races like Stradivarius used to!” he told Racing TV.

“We’ve had to space his races, he ran in the Neom Cup in Saudi which he won in February, he came back and then went to the Sheema Classic in March, in which he took on the world champion in Equinox and tried to race with him, which is a mistake.

“He came back to a mile and a quarter and showed us what he could do in the Prince of Wales’s in which he was very impressive. He came out of it super, he’s very full of himself every morning.”

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