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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Canada clues on offer in Berkshire as Simcock goes for four-timer

Desert Encounter: will be bidding for back-to-back wins in the Legacy Cup
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2.20 Newbury
Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup (Group 3) | 1m3f | ITV4/RUK 

Simcock yet again?

Last year's winner Desert Encounter is back but this time the race will act as a prep for next month's Group 1 Canadian International at Woodbine.

Remarkably, trainer David Simcock is going for a fourth consecutive win in a race formerly run as the Arc Trial, having won it previously with The Corsican (2015) and Algometer (2016).

Watch: Desert Encounter's narrow-margin win in this contest last year

After trying to pick up the pieces behind Poet's Word in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July, Desert Encounter appreciated the drop to Listed company at Windsor last time when accounting for the fancied Game Starter.

The last horse to win this and follow up in Canada was the classy Hillstar in 2014, and connections are hopeful Desert Encounter has what it takes.

Point your toe: Desert Encounter (nearest camera) strides out well to win the Group 3 Legacy Cup 12 months ago

Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Abdulla Al Mansoori, said: "Desert Encounter won the race last year and enjoyed a confidence boost when winning at Listed level last time. This is his level and we are hoping he can win again.

"The rain won't be a bother to him and, all being well, the plan would be to take him to the Canadian International after this."

Can Mirage Dancer defy a penalty? 

Mirage Dancer turned into the horse he had always threatened to be this summer when he registered two wins at Goodwood, one of which was a Group 3, but he has to shoulder a 3lb penalty for his trouble.

Sir Michael Stoute bypassed a crack at the Derby with the son of Frankel last year and it's a move that has been repaid this season, with his most most impressive performance to date coming when he ran away with the Glorious Stakes last month.

Handsome performance: Mirage Dancer strides clear of his rivals to win the Glorious Stakes

The Khalid Abdullah-owned colt has since impressed in his work on the Limekilns training grounds in Newmarket, where he has been partnered by Saturday's jockey Ryan Moore.

Stoute could also be considering a crack at the Canadian International if the four-year-old can give the 3lb to his rivals.

Stoute said: "We're very happy with Mirage Dancer going into the race, we just hope they don't get too much rain.

"We'll see how he gets on before deciding where he goes later on."

Rascal will like the ground on return

Young Rascal makes his first public appearance since finishing seventh to Masar in the Derby and is one runner who will not mind any ease in the ground.

William Haggas's hope was sent off third favourite at Epsom, but after looking threatening turning for home he soon backpedalled and was beaten just over 16 lengths.

Watch: Young Rascal's seventh-placed effort behind Masar in the Derby

The son of Intello had previously won his maiden over this course and distance in April, before accounting for subsequent Derby runner-up Dee Ex Bee in the Group 3 Chester Vase.

A return to that form would see Young Rascal bang there on his first start for nearly four months, during which time he had a racecourse gallop at Chelmsford.

Haggas said: "Young Rascal is in good form at home but needs to run. He will appreciate the ground now the rain has arrived, and any further ease in the ground won't bother him." 

Picture perfect: Young Rascal with connections after winning the Chester Vase - any rain would be in his favour at Newbury

What they say

David Elsworth, trainer of Desert Skyline
We took him to Royal Ascot with our tails up but he ran poorly there and he's not really fired since. He's in great form at home and the plan is the Melbourne Cup, but we'll have to see a better performance if we were to take him there. 

Andrew Balding, trainer of Wingingit
She ran well in the race last year but would have to put up a career best to get involved this time around.

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The rain won't be a bother to him and, all being well, the plan would be to take him to the Canadian International after this
E.W. Terms
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