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Jayarebe has Royal Ascot aspirations after Dee Stakes tilt

Jayarebe has Royal Ascot aspirations after Dee Stakes tilt
Jayarebe has Royal Ascot aspirations after Dee Stakes tilt

Jayarebe looks to tee himself up for an appearance at Royal Ascot with another good run in the Boodles Raindance Dee Stakes at Chester on Thursday.

A winner on his July Course debut last summer, Brian Meehan’s charge went on to run with credit when seventh behind Rosallion in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc weekend at ParisLongchamp.

The Zoffany colt made his three-year-old debut in the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket’s Craven meeting and following an impressive victory, he heads to the Roodee in a bid for back-to-back triumphs at Listed level.

“I’m very happy with him, he’s in great shape and this is a very natural next step for him timing-wise, so it makes sense,” said Meehan.

“He looks like he’s come on for the run at Newmarket and improved. It’s only his third run, so we’re expecting more from him really.”

While the Dee Stakes is considered a legitimate trial for the Derby, Jayarebe is not entered at Epsom, with his trainer keen to stick to a mile and a quarter for the time being.

Brian Meehan at Newmarket
Brian Meehan at Newmarket (Bradley Collyer/PA)

A tilt at the French Derby was mooted in the immediate aftermath of his Feilden win, but Meehan has now decided against an attempt at Classic glory across the Channel.

He added: “I think for the moment we wouldn’t be in a hurry to venture any further, maybe until the end of the summer.

“It (French Derby) was a thought at the time, but I talked to the owner and from the Dee we’ll go to the Hampton Court (at Royal Ascot). He’s in the Eclipse as well, so that’s a possible, one or the other I’d say, rather than both.”

Richard Hughes also has Royal Ascot aspirations for Bracken’s Laugh, who reverts to the turf after landing the £100,000 Woodford Reserve Cardinal Conditions Stakes on the all-weather at Chelmsford.

The three-year-old ventured to France to finish fifth behind Aidan O’Brien’s Los Angeles in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud in the autumn and Hughes is excited to see how far he can go this term.

He said: “We’re happy with him, so he’ll go and do his best and we’ll see how we get on.

“We’ve had no hiccups since Chelmsford and we’ve been happy with his prep. It would be nice to win a Listed and then go Group Three at Ascot, but we’ll see.

“We could be taking on a Derby horse in God’s Window, but there’s only one way of finding out.”

The likely favourite is the John and Thady Gosden-trained God’s Window, third in last season’s Futurity Trophy at Doncaster and a facile winner of a three-runner novice event at Nottingham three weeks ago.

God’s Window (light blue) winning on his Doncaster debut
God’s Window (light blue) winning on his Doncaster debut (Tim Goode/PA)

“He ran a good race to be third after slightly missing the break at Doncaster in the Futurity last year and then he won in very uncomplicated fashion on his return at Nottingham,” said Thady Gosden.

“He has taken a good step forward for that and he’s back into stakes company now. Of course, it’s a hot race, but he goes there in good order.”

God’s Window is one of three runners who hold a Derby entry, along with O’Brien’s Capulet and the Ed Walker-trained Harper’s Ferry.

After twice finishing second, the latter made it third time lucky at Windsor in mid-April and Walker expects to have a clearer idea about his potential ambitions after this.

He said: “He sort of won with his ears pricked last time. He’s a horse who hasn’t done a lot wrong and we were given a very tempting mark (88) to have a go at a handicap.

“But we’d spent a lot of money on some nice entries and he’s bred to be a Derby horse, whether that’s French or English, we don’t know, but that’s what he was bred for, so we will persevere down that route until we are proven otherwise and we’ll see where we are on Thursday.

“Hopefully the ground doesn’t become quick, but I think it should be fine. It was surprisingly good ground at Windsor and he was comfortable on that.

“I don’t think it’s a given he stays 12 furlongs. He’s a horse with a high cruising speed. He’s not slow, I know Derby horses aren’t slow, but it would be a step into the unknown.

“If we’re lucky enough to win on Thursday, it would not be a straightforward decision which Derby to aim at.”

Capulet completes the field, having finished third behind Bracken’s Laugh at Chelmsford when an odds-on favourite.

The son of Justify was twice placed at Group Two level as a juvenile, chasing home stablemate Diego Velazquez in the Golden Fleece at Leopardstown before finishing third behind Ghostwriter in Newmarket’s Royal Lodge.

His rider Ryan Moore told Betfair: “My colt probably didn’t run up to his best on his return behind Bracken’s Laugh at Chelmsford, but hopefully he will have sharpened up for that run, this 10-furlong trip will suit, and he can return to his two-year-old form.”

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