Telescope to miss King George after setback

Telescope has been forced out of his Ascot engagement. Picture: Getty
Telescope has been forced out of his Ascot engagement. Picture: Getty
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TELESCOPE is expected to make a swift recovery after a late setback ruled him out of Saturday’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained five-year-old was a beaten favourite in Ascot’s midsummer showpiece last season, but ran a fine race to fill the runner-up spot behind Oaks heroine Taghrooda. Telescope was due to return to Berkshire on something of a recovery mission after failing to fire in the Hardwicke Stakes at last month’s Royal meeting, but will not be taking up his engagement.

Alex Smith, managing director for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, said: “It’s frustrating for everybody involved, obviously.

“It is only a minor setback and doesn’t look anything serious. It’s just come at the wrong moment, unfortunately.

“It’s disappointing for his owners, who had been building up for a big day, but he’ll be fine.”

Asked whether Telescope could return to action as soon as next month, Smith said: “I would hope so. We hope he’ll be back very soon.”

Stoute will still be represented by the supplemented Snow Sky, an impressive all-the-way winner of this year’s Hardwicke.

Meanwhile, at Sandown today, Raaqy, who is bred to be above average, can live up to her lofty expectations in the Irish Champions Weekend EBF Stallions Star Stakes.

She is by sire-of-the-moment Dubawi and out of a 1,000 Guineas winner in Natagora, so hopes were always going to be high she could live up to the exploits of her parents.

Given her dam landed the Cheveley Park as a two-year-old, there was always a hope she could be fairly precocious, and there must have been a huge sigh of relief from Hamdan Al Maktoum and the team when the home-bred filly made a winning debut at Doncaster.

Nothing much went right for Raaqy on Town Moor – she looked like being trapped in at one stage – and Paul Hanagan had to sit and suffer.

But when the gap appeared, she took it and showed a willing attitude to get up on the line to win.

As much as there was to like about the run, the form has worked out great and she meets a couple of those, Dessertoflife and Aneesah, who finished behind her again.

The former, who finished fourth at Doncaster, struck on her next start and was not disgraced in the Chesham at Royal Ascot, while the seventh home, Aneesah, had no trouble winning next time, either.