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    Desert Hero Sets Sights on Royal Ascot
Desert Hero Sets Sights on Royal Ascot
Desert Hero. Royal Ascot. Source: racingandsports.com

Desert Hero Sets Sights on Royal Ascot

William Haggas has identified the Hardwicke Stakes as the target for Desert Hero, who emerged victorious in last year's King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot. This marked a historic achievement for both the King and the Queen. Trained by Haggas, Desert Hero, ridden by Tom Marquand, demonstrated consistent performance throughout the season, securing a win at Glorious Goodwood and finishing third in the St Leger.

Although there was speculation about a potential participation in the Melbourne Cup, Haggas made the decision to focus solely on a return to Ascot for now, disregarding any international ventures.

Haggas expressed his satisfaction, stating, "He's performed admirably, and I'm extremely pleased with his progress."During the winter, Desert Hero underwent gelding, as it was deemed unlikely that he would become a successful stallion or attract significant interest for breeding purposes. Haggas believes that this change will benefit the horse, allowing him to excel further as a racehorse. The trainer is optimistic about Desert Hero's upcoming season, hoping for a successful campaign.

Desert Hero is expected to participate in one or possibly two races, with the Hardwicke Stakes being the primary target. Haggas expressed his desire to return to Ascot with a strong chance of victory. Another potential race on the horizon for Desert Hero is the Al Rayyan Stakes, scheduled to take place on Lockinge Day at Newbury on 18th May. Haggas highlighted that Desert Hero competed in the London Gold Cup at Newbury last year, and the Aston Park, a valuable Group Three race, also falls on the same day. This presents an appealing opportunity, and Desert Hero would not face any penalties for participating. As of March, Haggas indicated that the Al Rayyan Stakes is the likely choice for the horse.

Haggas emphasised the significance of starting Desert Hero's season at this event, considering it an ideal launchpad with ample time for preparation leading up to Royal Ascot.

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