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Royal Ascot Ultimate Guide - 2019-06-06

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The six-million dollar questions

FRIDAY 3.05 KING EDWARD VII STAKES

MATT BUTLER

Can Private Secretary make the step up to Group 2 level? At one stage John Gosden had suggested Private Secretary could make the jump from a handicap to the Derby via a Listed race at Goodwood. That plan may have been quashed a few days later, but perhaps it showed how highly Gosden rates this son of Kingman. His sire may raise doubts about the suitability of a stiff 1m4f but he certainly wasn’t stopping when winning the Cocked Hat, a race Gosden landed with King Edward VII runner-up Khalidi in 2017. Who are the main dangers? Charlie Appleby won this last year with Old Persian and Jalmoud is on a similarly progressive path. Racing once as a juvenile, he returned with a commanding victory in a Newmarket novice. Appleby opted for a Longchamp Listed race next, which he narrowly won. The Derby was never on the radar, which makes him appeal as a likely candidate, while Aidan O’brien typically targets this race with a lesser light from the Derby or one who missed Epsom. Curragh Group 3 winner Constantinople rates the type who could run here.

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