Star duo set for QEII clash
Dawn Approach and Toronado look set to clash for a fourth time this season in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on QIPCO Champions Day at Ascot.
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Both colts need to bounce back from disappointing runs with Dawn Approach returning from his run in the Jacques le Marois with mucus on his lungs while Toronado had a breathing operation after his lacklustre effort over 10 furlongs at York in the International Stakes.
Scratchings have been made for all the Group races at Ascot on October 19, including the Champion Stakes, and Toronado could be rerouted for that but he is likely to revert to a mile.
Richard Hannon jnr said: "No firm plans have been made yet but there is every chance that we will be represented in both races.
"Toronado has had a small procedure done on his palate and the way that he is progressing now,
there is an excellent chance that he will make it back for Champions Day. He is back working well and the QEII is the more likely race for him."
The Hannon team could also be represented on the day by Sky Lantern, Olympic Glory and Montiridge.
"Sky Lantern has come out of the Sun Chariot really well and has the option of running in both races, we need to talk it over with her owner," said Hannon.
"Olympic Glory did not turn very well when he finished second in the Prix du Moulin in France so the straight mile of the QEII ought to suit him.
"Montiridge ran the race of his life in the Joel Stakes, he's a very good horse. The QEII is a possibility for him, but he has targets in Dubai in March and other options beforehand."
Mike De Kock's Joel Stakes winner Soft Falling Rain, Gordon Lord Byron and Elusive Kate are among 26 for the QEII while the likes of Farhh, Declaration of War and Magician still remain in both the QEII and the Champion Stakes.
Maxios, an impressive winner of the Prix du Moulin last time out, also has both options.
Alan Cooper, racing manager to the owners the Niarchos Family, said: "He has been in very good form since the Moulin.
"He has been left in both the QEII and the Champion Stakes to keep our options open - we will decide nearer the time.
"The Moulin was a great result for Maxios and a reward for the patience that has been vested in him.
"Main Sequence (same ownership in training with David Lanigan) is also a possible for the Champion Stakes."
Cirrus Des Aigles, Camelot, Al Kazeem and Ruler Of The World all remain in the Champion Stakes.
Ralph Beckett's Talent, winner of the Oaks and second in the St Leger, is among 18 left in the British Champions Fillies And Mares Stakes, the most valuable all-aged race for females in Europe.
Beckett may also run Oaks runner-up Secret Gesture.
"I was delighted with Talent's run in the St Leger and this is the obvious place to take her to end her year - the plan is that she will stay in training," said Beckett.
"Talent is better with some juice in the ground and she is more likely to get that at Ascot than anywhere else.
"I think Ascot will suit her well and I am not sure that the drop back in trip will make much difference to her. As she gets older, I think that she will be less dependent on having to be dropped out and ridden from behind.
"Ascot is a possibility for Secret Gesture but she is likely to run in the Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp this Sunday. After that we'll see."
Igugu, Dalkala and Hot Snap remain in the mix.
Last year's one-two-three of Maarek, Hawkeyethenoo and Sirius Prospect are in the British Champions Sprint once more while Gold Cup winner Estimate and Rite Of Passage remain in the Long Distance Cup.