Hukum team look like favouring direct route to Arc

Hukum appears increasingly likely to head straight for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe following his heroic success in last month’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

The six-year-old edged out Westover in an epic renewal of Ascot’s midsummer showpiece, his second win at Group One level having landed last year’s Coronation Cup at Epsom before suffering an injury.

Having proved his ability remains very much intact, connections are happy to keep their powder dry for Europe’s premier middle-distance contest on October 1.

“Touch wood he’s in good shape and he seemed to come out of it well,” said Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell.

“I haven’t spoken to Owen (Burrows, trainer) particularly about it, but from what I saw quoted I think he’s happy to go straight to the Arc unless something else presented itself.

“He’s a dual Group One winner, so we don’t have to run him just for the sake of it, and I think if we got him to Longchamp in good shape, he’d have a decent chance.

“That’s our job now, to get him there in the best possible shape.”

The Shadwell team enjoyed further Group One success at Goodwood last week, with the Roger Varian-trained Al Husn springing a minor upset in the Nassau Stakes.

She holds entries in the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville and the Yorkshire Oaks at York before the end of this month, while a trip to the Breeders’ Cup could be on her agenda later in the year.

Gold added: “She’s in the Romanet and she’s in the Yorkshire Oaks. I was just speaking to Roger this morning and if we want to go further he’s always said he’d love to end up in America with her, possibly with the Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp as a race before then.

“We’re in the lucky position now where we’re not trying to make a Group One winner, she has achieved that, so we can just wait and see.

“She must have had a relatively hard race last week, although she’s a tough as nails, and now she’s a Group One winner we want to do the right thing by her.

“The options are the Romanet and the Yorkshire Oaks, or neither and just concentrate on the Opera and then maybe go to America.

“I was speaking to Roger this morning and we said Sheikha Hissa might be able to come to York and she might like to see her run. There’s lots of things to work out, so we’ll have a good think about it early next week and see what everyone thinks is the right course of action.”

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