By Simon Jackson at Ascot.
Limato has Royal Ascot in his sights after extending his unbeaten record with an impressive win in the Group 3 Merriebelle Stable Pavilion Stakes at Ascot on Wednesday.
The victory in the £80,000 contest ensured a winning comeback for the son of Tagula who won all of his four starts as a two-year-old.
The Henry Candy-trained gelding last season won twice on the all-weather at Kempton before bagging a brace of Listed contests at Newbury and Redcar.
Yet connections revealed ahead of Ascot that they were concerned about Limato’s work as he had not been showing the same sparkle in his trackwork as he had last season.
“He was very rusty,” said Candy who admitted that he was ‘relieved’ after his charge quickened impressively to secure a one and a half-length victory for James Doyle.
“He had a really good blow as I haven’t been able to get him fit because he hasn’t been enjoying doing very much. I said that to James and he was quite forceful with him early on and after he had gone three furlongs the penny seemed to drop and he got on the bridle.
“He hasn’t been showing anything like he did last year which showed in the way he blew after the race. I think he is just as an exciting horse as before but we needed to come here and see.”
Limato was trimmed to 5-2 from 7-2 (Paddy Power) for Royal Ascot’s new Group 1 Commonwealth Cup and Candy is considering giving him one more run before the Royal meeting.
“It is probably not a bad idea to give him another run before Royal Ascot but we will keep an open mind about that,” said Candy who intends to keep him to three-year-old races.
Earlier the Luca Cumani-trained Mizzou set a new course record for two miles when clocking three minutes and 24.12 seconds to win the Group 3 Longines Sagaro Stakes.
The Ascot Gold Cup is his intended target where he was cut to 8-1 from 20-1 (Paddy Power).
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