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Fellowes has sights set on Royal Ascot magic from The Wizard Of Eye

Fellowes has sights set on Royal Ascot magic from The Wizard Of Eye
Fellowes has sights set on Royal Ascot magic from The Wizard Of Eye

The Wizard Of Eye has Royal Ascot on his agenda after a taking Victoria Cup display.

The chestnut was running for the first time since switching yards, leaving Stan Moore to join Charlie Fellowes’ stable and also undergoing a gelding procedure.

Prior to that he had shown plenty of ability in previous runs, going close when third in the Group Three Prix Francois Boutin as a juvenile and finishing second in the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood in 2022.

He is also a Listed winner after claiming the Hyde Stakes over a mile at Kempton during the same year, though prior to Saturday he had not won since.

Under Tom Marquand at Ascot he was a 7-1 chance in the Victoria Cup, a 21-runner handicap worth over £50,000 to the winner and run over seven furlongs.

Towards the rear of the field for much of the race, the five-year-old began to weave his way through the pack in the latter stages and showed a neat turn of foot to take up the lead in the final strides and prevail by a head.

“I was delighted, I think he won quite impressively considering they didn’t go overly quick early doors,” Fellowes said.

“He was maybe not in the best position, although that was exactly where I wanted him, I just loved the way he put his head down and quickened.

“It was everything I wanted to see, his work at home had been very good but you never quite know what they’re going to do until they hit the racetrack.

“I’m sure it will do his confidence a bit of good, he didn’t win a race last year and he’s had some pretty tough assignments on the way.”

The Wizard Of Eye has been tried over trips ranging from six to 10 furlongs and Fellowes is still pondering what will prove to be his optimum, though regardless of the distance his next outing is almost certainly going to come at Royal Ascot.

“I think there are a few question marks regarding trip, the fact that they went steady clouded the issue a little bit,” the trainer said.

“I’m not convinced it was a truly-run seven and the way he was able to quicken from the back was very eyecatching.

“I said before the race that I’ll try him over six at some stage and my view hasn’t changed, I think he’s got the speed for six and he’s shown a lot of speed at home, I think a truly-run six would suit him, but when I try that is the big question.

“He’s probably the sort of horse that is best kept a bit fresh, I think that suits him so I’ve no intention to run between now and Royal Ascot – he’ll go straight there.

“From there on we’ll see, a race like the Prix Maurice de Gheest over six and a half (furlongs) may be a lovely spot for him at some point.

“He’ll have to improve again for a race like that, but I think pretty highly of this horse and I think he’s got a lot of ability.”

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