Keatley sets out Acomb aim for Ballymount Boy

Adrian Keatley already has Classic aspirations for Richmond Stakes runner-up Ballymount Boy, who is likely to step up to seven furlongs for the Tattersalls Acomb Stakes later this month.

The Irishman, who now trains in North Yorkshire, saddled Jet Setting to beat Minding in the 2016 Irish 1,000 Guineas and believes he has found another candidate to tackle the biggest races over a mile next term.

Although sent off 25-1 at Goodwood for his first taste of Group action, the son of Camacho confirmed Keatley’s high opinion of the colt to get within a length of toppling 11-8 favourite Vandeek.

And now he is keen to step up in trip with his talented two-year-old at York’s Ebor Festival, for a race won 12 months ago by subsequent 2000 Guineas hero Chaldean.

“It was what we were expecting, we wouldn’t have taken him down to Goodwood if we weren’t expecting a big run and that’s the level we hold him at,” said Keatley.

“I think he will improve again and he can step up another grade again.

“He will probably go for the Acomb next and then we will go from there. It’s seven furlongs and we’ll try to get him to win at Group Three level before stepping up again.

“He’s a very good horse who we hold in high regard and hopefully he will be my next Guineas horse. It’s been a while since I’ve had my last one, so I could do with another one.”

However, one of Keatley’s string who will not be seen on the Knavesmire is the prolific Kihavah, who will miss the rest of the season through injury.

The six-year-old has won four times on the level during the current campaign and was being pointed towards the £500,000 Sky Bet Ebor, but will now be on the sidelines until the new year when he could be sent on some international assignments.

“Kihavah has picked up an injury and won’t be running for the rest of the Flat season,” continued Keatley.

“We might look at campaigning him abroad in the new year with a view to going back for the Ebor or some of the big mile-and-a-half handicaps next season.”

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