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Adayar conqueror Alenquer set for King Edward VII Stakes tilt at Royal Ascot

Tom Marquand riding Alenquer (pale blue) defeats Adayar (right) at Sandown in April
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Connections of Alenquer, who defeated subsequent Cazoo Derby hero Adayar in the Group 3 Classic Trial in April, have no regrets about not supplementing him for a rematch at Epsom following a setback.

Owned by Kuwaiti-based M M Stables, Alenquer made his seasonal comeback when holding off the late flourish of Adayar by half a length at Sandown and is now back in shape for a tilt at the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot next Friday.

A 25-1 chance when scoring under Tom Marquand, the William Haggas-trained Alenquer is currently a more conservative 9-2 third favourite with Paddy Power for the 1m4f contest.

The owners racing manager Armando Duarte said: “No-one expected to see the eventual Derby winner at Sandown that day where they said Adayar was bit unlucky, but Charlie’s horse looked to be a big baby of a horse at that time.

“We talked about supplementing Alenquer for the Derby after that but we’ve no regrets as he had a setback and wasn’t ready. There is only one Derby but we had to give him some time and a chance to get back into shape, the horse’s welfare was paramount.”

Alenquer (Tom Marquand,2nd right) wins the Classic trial beating Adayar (R) and Yibir (L)Sandown 23.4.21 Pic: Edward Whitaker/Racing Post

A son of the late Adlerflug, whose best progeny is last year’s Arc runner-up In Swoop, Alenquer raced twice as a two-year-old, winning over seven furlongs at Newbury before finishing runner-up in a Listed contest at Haydock over a mile.

Duarte added: “He’s better than he’s ever been. His work has improved immensely since his break and we think he has improved physically and mentally.

"We did think about running him in the Irish Derby but it’s a big ask going from a Group 3 to a Group 1 and the travel restrictions with Covid-19 didn’t appeal, so we’ve opted for Royal Ascot.”

Alenquer will be stepping up to a mile and a half at Ascot where he will be once again partnered by Marquand, but Duarte is unconcerned about the trip.

“It will be no problem to him and if it’s fast ground that won’t be a problem either," he said. "We’re sure he will be a better horse on better ground as it was the easy side of good at Sandown and soft at Haydock last year when he got beat as a two-year-old.”

Mohaafeth – an 11th hour absentee from the Derby for Haggas – is also expected to appear at Royal Ascot in Thursday’s Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes.

Targets undecided for Third Realm

Future targets are up in the air for the Roger Varian-trained Third Realm, who finished fifth behind Adayar at Epsom but beat the Derby winner in the Lingfield Derby Trial last month.

Varian said: “Third Realm ran okay in the Derby but he never got into a rhythm in the race and is better than that. There is no plan with him at the moment.”

Alenquer, Third Realm and Mohaafeth also feature among the 35 entries for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot next month, with a 13-strong entry from the three-year-old division.

Epsom Classic winners Adayar and Snowfall as well as Prix du Jockey Club hero St Mark's Basilica are also entered, while the older horses are headed by Addeybb, Mishriff and Love.

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We talked about supplementing Alenquer for the Derby after that but we've no regrets as he had a setback and wasn't ready
E.W. Terms