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Royal Ascot Ultimate Guide - 2019-06-06

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Road to the winner’s enclosure

FRIDAY 3.40 COMMONWEALTH CUP

ANDREW PENNINGTON

AFTER winning one of his two starts as a juvenile, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Eqtidaar made his reappearance in the Group 3 Pavilion Stakes at Ascot where he finished second to Invincible Army. The son of Invincible Spirit made a quick return to the track just 17 days later in the Listed Carnarvon Stakes at Newbury where he was beaten two and a half lengths into fourth. The day before the Commonwealth Cup Angus Gold, racing manager to the colt’s owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, struck a bullish note about the chances of Eqtidaar when he said: “I know Michael Stoute still has plenty of time for the horse and I thought he worked very well last weekend.” It became obvious why when Eqtidaar came out on top in this 22-runner Group 1 prize, in which Jim Crowley’s mount drifted left from the far side of the track under pressure but had sufficient momentum to hold off the powerful late surge of Sands Of Mali. Asked to assess Eqtidaar’s talent, Stoute said: “He showed you just now. He’s pretty good. We’ve have some good ones, like Marwell, Ajdal and Green Desert, but he’s progressing nicely.”

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