Dubai: John Gosden’s gutsy Gregorian may well have earned himself a return ticket to Royal Ascot after completing a rousing victory in the Group 3 Diomed Stakes at Epsom on Friday.
The four-year-old colt, who finished an impressive third in the St James’s Palace Stakes (G1) at last year’s Royal meeting, is likely to take his place in the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) on June 18, where he will face imposing Dubai World Cup (G1) sensation Animal Kingdom, and other top notchers.
But his well-executed length-and-a-half victory in Friday’s mile event, has compelled his trainer to think in terms of a more deserving prize for his stable star.
“He is in the Queen Anne, but there’s a certain horse called Animal Kingdom in there and quite frankly he’s an imperious horse,” Gosden told Channel 4 Racing.
“We’re really lucky that they’ve brought him from America to be here, but we could run against him — someone has to be second, third, fourth and fifth.”
Gregorian, who is owned by Princess Haya Bint Hussain, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was given a perfect ride by Gosden’s retained rider William Buick.
The jockey said of his winner: “This lad’s a good horse, I’ve loved him from day one.
“He’s not really had the luck in some of these races but now he’s got it together and he’ll progress.”
Gregorian, was cut to 25-1 (from 50) for the Queen Anne, where Animal Kingdom is the joint 11-4 favourite with Godolphin’s Farhh.
Later in the day Richard Hughes won his second British Classic in less than a month when pouncing late aboard the Ralph Beckett-trained Talent to land the Investec Oaks (G1).
Hughes won his maiden Classic at Newmarket on May 5 when riding Sky Lantern to victory in the 1,000 Guineas.