By Simon Jackson.
Sir Michael Stoute says good ground is the key for Hardwicke Stakes winner Telescope who is set to return to Ascot next month for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The son of Galileo was prominent in the betting for the 2013 Investec Derby but missed the race after a series of setbacks. He returned to the racetrack last July and won two of his three starts that included the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes.
Yet a brace of defeats on soft ground at Sandown and Chester raised questions, but Stoute reckons the answer is simply that his charge – who has not finished out of the first two in his eight starts – just needs good ground.
“I think the two previous races he has had this year were run on unsuitable ground, so I am thrilled to see him do that today,” Stoute said after the seven length victory over stablemate Hillstar on good to firm ground at Royal Ascot on Saturday.
“Telescope was written up an awful lot last spring after a maiden win and then they said he was a flop. He has not been a flop – he has never been out of the first two,” the Newmarket trainer continued.
“I was convinced after Chester that heavy ground does not suit him. Noble Mission, the winner, loves that ground and has improved. So I felt it was a massive task to try and beat him at Chester. Our fellow’s action wasn’t as good as it can be and he was labouring in that ground.
“Telescope has never run a bad race, though he had been a little bit disappointing so far this year, but only because he has been on the wrong ground. He just had to go and do it today so it is a relief. It is great to see him win like that as we have always held him in high regard.
“My head man Stuart Messenger and Kevin Bradshaw, who rides Telescope every day, have made an enormous contribution to Telescope. We have been happy with him lately. Hopefully, he will be fine to come here for the King George. If Telescope put up this performance again, he would be in the shake-up of any big race.”
Highclere Thoroughbred Racing’s managing director, Harry Herbert, whose Wavertree syndicate owns Telescope, said: “He is such an exciting horse and, as Ryan [Moore – jockey] said earlier, Telescope is a man now, he has grown up.
“We hoped that we might beat Noble Mission second time up at Chester. But Telescope has got his ground today and it was a great performance. I would be thinking about the King George now.”
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