A’Ali could warm up for a possible Royal Ascot run in the Pavilion Stakes

Sat 23 May 2020

A’Ali could warm up for a possible Royal Ascot run in the Pavilion Stakes, which is scheduled to be run at Newcastle on June 4.

The three-year-old won the Norfolk and Flying Childers Stakes in Britain and the Prix Robert Papin in France last year before disappointing on his final run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

Trainer Simon Crisford, who has now joined forces his son Ed under a joint licence, could look to the planned Newcastle race as a pointer for A’Ali’s chances in the Commonwealth Cup, which is due to be contested at next month’s Royal meeting.

He told Sky Sports Racing: “The key thing about him is whether six furlongs is going to be his trip. We’d love to run him in the Commonwealth if we thought six furlongs was going to be his distance.

“Whether or not we try him in the Pavilion beforehand to just dip our toe in the water and have a look, I’m not sure yet, but the horse is extremely well. He looks fantastic and we’ll be making that keynote decision in the next few days.

“His profile (last year) was excellent having won three Group Twos, including the Flying Childers, and then Santa Anita was a complete disaster, if that’s the correct sort of word to use for a horse race.

“He fell out of the gate and never got involved – it did seem a long way to go for 50 seconds of misery.”

Crisford also hopes Epic Hero can make his mark for the team in Britain having won one of his three starts in Dubai after transferring from the care of Andre Fabre in the winter.

The trainer said: “He’s in great form, he’s arrived back from Dubai and his programme will be second half of the year.

“We’re looking forward to getting him back on the track. I think he’s a Listed class horse and as he gets older, he could get a bit better.

“It never ceases to amaze me how horses can change and improve a bit. We’re all in such a rush to identify their levels of ability at such a young age, but horses change and I’m hopeful he’s going to change very much in the right direction.”

Fantail is another Crisford has to look forward to after winning on her debut at Chelmsford last November.

He added: “She worked really nicely this morning and she’s owned by a super group of enthusiasts with Highclere Thoroughbreds.

“She’s a sweet filly, she’s really good looking – she looks like a queen, but whether or not she can race like a queen, I don’t know yet.

“She’s certainly showing us the right signals and I’m sure that Harry Herbert (Highclere’s racing manager) and his team will define a good, solid programme for her building throughout the season and we’ve got our fingers crossed that she could make up into a really nice filly.”

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