Royal Ascot under consideration for Caernarfon, with French Oaks off the table

Next week’s Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot is among the options under consideration for Caernarfon after trainer Jack Channon decided against a bid for Classic glory in France on Sunday.

A creditable fourth over a mile in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, the daughter of Cityscape stepped up on that performance when third in the Oaks at Epsom over a mile and a half.

Caernarfon had the option of running in this weekend’s French Oaks at Chantilly over a mile and a quarter, but while Channon is keen to try her over the intermediate distance on her next start, he scratched his stable star from the Prix de Diane on Tuesday morning.

Explaining the decision, Channon said: “If I’m brutally honest, I didn’t like the outlook of the French race, simply due to the fact it can be a very messy race.

“From a wide draw you can’t win at Chantilly and even with a plum draw, she’s not the biggest, she’s the type of filly that could lose her position and if you get too far back round there it’s a very hard place to win.

“I just thought there’d be better options and some of the races in the late summer, like the Nassau at Goodwood, are going to be right up her street.”

Caernarfon will now either take on the boys at the Royal meeting or wait for Group One opportunities against her own sex.

“We’ve got a couple options, you’ve got the Hampton Court Stakes over a mile and a quarter if you wanted to go against the colts at Ascot, or you’ve obviously got the Ribblesdale against the fillies over a mile and a half,” Channon continued.

“We could definitely look at a mile and a half again in the future, but I think a mile and a quarter is where I want to go with her next.

“You’ve got the Pretty Polly in Ireland over a mile and a quarter a couple of weeks after that, so we’ve got a few options and we’re not concrete on anything yet.

“She’s in great form and wherever we go she’ll be ready to rock and roll. She’s come out of Epsom probably better than she did Newmarket, so we’re chuffed.”

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