Westover pleasing Beckett ahead of Arc challenge

Westover enjoyed a trip to the beach on Friday as his bid for glory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe looms ever closer.

Last season’s Irish Derby hero was not beaten far into sixth place in Europe’s premier middle-distance contest last season and will return to Paris next weekend following an excellent campaign so far.

Second to Japanese ace Equinox in Dubai earlier in the year, Ralph Beckett’s four-year-old has since finished chased home Emily Upjohn in the Coronation Cup and won the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud before going down by a head to Hukum in a pulsating renewal of the King George at Ascot.

The son of Frankel has been kept fresh since that late July outing and is reported to be in rude health following a racecourse gallop at his trainer’s local track and a spin on the sand.

“Westover went to Salisbury last Friday and to Hayling Island beach this Friday and both exercises went well,” said Beckett.

“It suited him to just take the edge off him ahead of Longchamp and he’s shown he can handle any ground between the extremes.”

Also set to be in Group One action next weekend for Beckett and Westover’s owners Juddmonte is the regally-bred juvenile Task Force.

By Frankel and out of another Guineas winner in Special Duty, the youngster has looked the part so far in winning a Salisbury maiden and a Listed race at Ripon, earning him a shot at the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

Beckett added: “Task Force will go for the Middle Park. I was really pleased with him (on Saturday) morning.”

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