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    Sandown's seasonal debut for King Of Steel appears imminent
Sandown's seasonal debut for King Of Steel appears imminent
Sandown's seasonal debut for King Of Steel appears imminent. Source: attheraces.com

Sandown's seasonal debut for King Of Steel appears imminent

The leading contender for King of Steel's seasonal comeback is Sandown's Brigadier Gerard Stakes, where Roger Varian hopes to get his Champion Stakes hero back to Royal Ascot in top form.

The son of Wootton Bassett has an incredible record at the Berkshire track. He won the King Edward VII Stakes at last year's royal meeting, easily defeating St. Leger hero Continuous, after finishing just behind Auguste Rodin in the Derby.

In midsummer, he made a comeback to the track and placed third in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. On British Champions Day, he delivered a devastating blow to Frankie Dettori, giving him the ultimate send-off.

The four-year-old is now targeted by the Carlburg Stables handler for the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot this season, while the Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland is still an option, Sandown's Group Three a few days earlier seems to be the better option.

Varian said: “I need to speak to Kia (Joorabchian, owner) and really firm up plans, but I think it’s likely he will be here for Brigadier Gerard. He looks great at home, is training lovely and we’re looking forward to that. The Tattersalls Gold Cup is not off the table – I really need to speak to the owner and he’s in both and we’ve made no firm decisions. Royal Ascot is his big target and do we need to travel to Ireland beforehand? We will have to see.”

Despite missing the Sandown Classic Trial due to a dirty scope, Varian is still eager to give Matsuri a Derby trial in the upcoming weeks.

The trainer added: “On Thursday, he cantered perfectly fine and looked at a picture but he threw in a cough in between his first and second canter. Thank God he did, because we scoped him and he was dirty, he had mucus in his trachea, so I’m glad we found out on the gallops and not the racecourse. He’s a lovely horse and hopefully he can be out in a couple of weeks in another Derby trial of some description. I think he’s a horse with a bright future.”

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