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Ian Williams set to give Royal Ascot the swerve with Magic Circle

By Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Sun 27 May 2018

Watch Nick Luck's full interview with Magic Circle's trainer Ian Williams as the Marwan Koukash-owned gleding is set to miss Royal Ascot next month for later targets en route to a tilt at the Melbourne Cup.

Ian Williams has all but ruled out the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot for impressive Henry II Stakes winner Magic Circle.

The six-year-old turned the Group Three contest at Sandown in to a procession under Fran Berry on Thursday, and backed up an equally extraordinary effort in the Chester Cup a fortnight earlier.

The victory all but gives the Marwan Koukash-owned gelding a place in the Melbourne Cup, for which he is a best-priced 25-1 with Betfair, and the Worcestershire-based handler is happy to work back from Flemington racecourse in November with perhaps Goodwood or York in mind.

“We’re by no means ruling out the Gold Cup, but it is not something that is a plan,” Williams told Racing UK’s Luck On Sunday programme.

“There is also an expensive supplementary fee. I wouldn’t want to run him on desperately fast ground at this time of the season.

“I don’t actually see it happening, he is very unlikely to run there. I wouldn’t totally rule it out but his priority is the Melbourne Cup so I can see him turning up at Goodwood (Goodwood Cup, July 31) or the Lonsdale Cup (York, August 24) but again, ground would need to be right and the horse would be in good order.”

“The last three weeks with this horse has been a bit of a rollercoaster, to be honest.

“The good doctor had labelled this horse as a Chester Cup winner but we didn’t know how he would run and to win like he did was very impressive.

“The step up from Group Three company was always going to be tough and he surprised me. I can’t say I did expect it. I thought he would qualify for Melbourne - he has achieved that and probably has enough weight that Fran Berry can now ride him as well.”

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