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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Former Queen Mary winner Acapulco to be aimed at Royal Ascot

Acapulco (blue): will be aimed at Royal Ascot again this year
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Acapulco, who won the Queen Mary Stakes under Ryan Moore two years ago when trained by Wesley Ward, will again have Royal Ascot as her target this year. 

The four-year-old is now with Aidan O'Brien and will be aimed at the King's Stand Stakes, which is the only one of the seven Group 1 events at Royal Ascot that the Ballydoyle trainer has yet to win.

The daughter of Scat Daddy, who is owned by the John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith alliance, beat all bar Mecca's Angel when taking on the older sprinters in the 2015 Nunthorpe Stakes.

Acapulco exercised at Naas on Monday under Seamie Heffernan, alongside stablemates Painted Cliffs and Cenotaph. After which O'Brien said: "Hopefully Acapulco will be in foal to Galileo and we'll train her up to Royal Ascot. If all goes well she might have a couple of runs before the King's Stand."

On her most recent start Acapulco finished sixth in a Grade 3 event over six-and-a-half furlong at Santa Anita in November.

Churchill: 8-1 to complete the Guineas and Derby double

Churchill, the dual Group 1-winning juvenile, is 8-1 with Betfair to complete the Qipco 2,000 Guineas and Investec Derby double for O’Brien, who is 1-7 to retain his British Flat trainers’ crown.

John Gosden is his closest challenger at 4-1 with the firm, whose spokesman Barry Orr said: “A feature of Aidan O’Brien’s five British flat trainers' title victories has been a flagship horse that carries all before him and, at this stage of his career, Churchill fits that profile to perfection.

"Between them, Gosden and O’Brien have won three of the last five titles and they look set to fight it out again this year."

Hopefully, Acapulco will be in foal to Galileo and we'll train her up to Royal Ascot

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