Roaring Lion will run in Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day

Oisin Murphy celebrates on Roaring Lion after winning the Juddmonte International Stakes
Oisin Murphy celebrates on Roaring Lion after winning the Juddmonte International Stakes

John Gosden has confirmed Roaring Lion will drop to a mile for Saturday's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) at Ascot.

The brilliant three-year-old also held an entry in the QIPCO Champion Stakes where he would have faced a mouthwatering clash with stablemate Cracksman. However, the champion trainer walked the course on Thursday morning and has opted to switch him to the mile contest.

It will be his first run at the trip since finishing fifth in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and he's chasing a first Group One win at the distance too.

He has enjoyed a stellar campaign at a mile-and-a-quarter, claiming wins in the Betfred Dante, Coral-Eclipse, Juddmonte International and QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes.

Roaring Lion edges past Saxon Warrior in a famous tussle
Roaring Lion edges past Saxon Warrior in a famous tussle

Sheikh Fahad's racing manager David Redvers said: "It's been confirmed this morning that he'll go for the QEII as unfortunately there's no sign of the ground drying up to not have heavy in the description on the round course.

"Obviously it's disappointing he can't compete in the Champion Stakes, but all along we've know that while we don't have too much of a fear about him acting on soft ground, he's got too good an action to have him flying through mud.

"Also, he seems to be more about speed this horse, he's not a grinder - he's got a serious turn of foot. I don't think there's any question now he's a faster horse than when he ran in the Guineas. He seems in remarkably good fettle.

"We just needed the weather to hold for one more week. It's heartbreaking, but it's the price we pay for running the meeting when we do, but there's nothing we can do about it as we have to fit into the world calendar, not just our own."

The Qatar Racing team have a second string to their bow in the David Simcock-trained Lightning Spear, winner of the Sussex Stakes.

Prix du Moulin winner Recoletos, who excels in soft ground, makes the trip from France while Karl Burke's multiple Group One winner Laurens will be seeking a sixth top-level win.

William Haggas' Addeybb will finally get the chance to run again having been scuppered by fast ground since the Lockinge.

Addeybb is something of a 'forgotten horse' heading into the autumn
Addeybb is something of a 'forgotten horse' heading into the autumn

Andrew Balding's Beat The Bank is another who handles soft, along with the David O'Meara-trained Lord Glitters, a winner on this card last season, while Century Dream has progressed all year for Simon Crisford.

Gabrial, Stormy Antarctic, Irish Guineas winner Romanised, Aljazzi, Hey Gaman, Happily and I Can Fly complete the list of 15.


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