Harry Dunlop looking at Group 1 options for back-to-best Knight To Behold
Harry Dunlop will discuss supplementary entries for either the Longines Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown or the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot for Knight To Behold, who put up the performance of his life when trouncing the French Derby principals in Wednesday's Group 2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano at Deauville.
The Lingfield Derby Trial winner had subsequently beaten only one rival at both Epsom and the Curragh, but bounced back with an impressive all-the-way win, never looking likely to be caught and scoring by four lengths and two from Prix du Jockey Club second Patascoy and Jockey Club winner Study Of Man.
Dunlop, who credited Frankie Dettori for pointing him in the right direction and had plenty of praise for Oisin Murphy's ride at Deauville, now finds himself with a highly rated Group 2 winner who lacks Group 1 entries. But he is working around it.
He said on Thursday: "He's not in anything, because we had to be realistic, but on the back of that we'll have to look at one of the Champion Stakes. We'd have to supplement him, and it's a lot of money, so I've got to talk to Mr Jones [owner-breeder Neil] about it.
"There are other Group 1 options, including the Prix Dollar at Longchamp on Arc weekend, but the big, big races closed a while ago."
"We changed a few things after Frankie rode him in the Irish Derby, where he ran quite well but didn't see the trip out. Frankie said drop him back to a mile and a quarter, and he's very good when allowed to roll on like that, which we tried at Epsom only to be killed off by the Ballydoyle team.
"Quite a lot of the family, including Millenary and Let The Lion Roar, have worn headgear, and so we tried the cheekpieces at Deauville to get him more focused. He behaved beautifully and Oisin gave him a super ride."
Thursday's win was Dunlop's fifth at Group level in France, and he is looking forward to returning this month with Robin Of Navan, who was a Group 1 winner there at two.
He said: "Robin Of Navan has had a break but is coming to hand again. We need to build him back up and the plan is to run in the Prix Quincey, which is a Group 3 over a mile at Deauville, on August 26. It would be lovely to get him back up in level again."
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