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'He nearly dropped his rider' – Ascot possible for flying Permian

Permian, winner of the King Edward VII Stakes, could return to Ascot next Saturday
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Permian is in contention to contest next Saturday’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot after recovering well from his narrow defeat in last week's Grand Prix de Paris, connections reported on Friday.

The Teofilo colt is thriving on a busy itinerary, having raced seven times since mid-April, including when victorious in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at the royal meeting last month.

Ascot’s midsummer showpiece is being considered as a possible next target from four options which also include the Juddmonte International at York.

Charlie Johnston, assistant to Permian’s trainer Mark Johnston, said: “Permian has come out of his last race as well as any. The plan was to give him an easy week, but he put his weight back on and was absolutely bouncing.

"I'm not sure if I've ever dealt with a horse with such a constitution before – he nearly dropped his regular rider yesterday."

Four big-race options

He continued: “We'll leave all the options open until the last minute, when we've had a chance to speak to everyone, but the King George is on the table, the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington on August 12 is on the table, there's a Group 1 in Germany in the middle of August, and also the Juddmonte International.

“They are the four options. We'll have to wait until next week but in terms of the horse we couldn't be happier.”

A decision on the King George participation of the Charlie Appleby-trained pair Hawkbill and Frontiersman, who fought out a thrilling finish to the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket, is unlikely to be made until next week.

Hawkbill (white face) and Frontiersman (right) will both be left in the King George until nearer the time

Appleby said: "We'll leave both Frontiersman and Hawkbill in the King George and take a view nearer the time. Frontiersman will get better with racing, and if we were to run him tomorrow he's better now than he was at Newmarket.

“He's come forward again and, although I totally respect the King George opposition, I couldn't be any happier with him."

I'm not sure if I've ever dealt with a horse with such a constitution before
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