Limato warming up for July Cup again after Dubai debacle
Owner Paul Jacobs refers to Limato's World Cup night experience as the 'Dubai debacle' but the team behind last year's DarleyJuly Cup winner are hopeful that happier - and sunnier - times await back in Britain this season built around the defence of his Newmarket crown.
You do not expect a deluge in the desert but that is what Limato got as conditions went wrong for him in the Al Quoz Sprint in which he toiled.
Limato did not enjoy travelling to the UAE much either and only now, six weeks later, is he beginning to find his way again.
The Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot is the first target for the Group 1 winner before the July Cup, for which 59 horses have been entered, including the Aidan O’Brien-trained Caravaggio and Acapulco, Blue Point, and last year’s second and third Suedois and Quiet Reflection.
Trainer Henry Candy reported on Wednesday: "Limato had his first leg stretch on the grass yesterday since he travelled back from Dubai.
"He was in a bit of a mess with pulled muscles when we got him back home and it's been a long process putting him back together.
"I've given him plenty of rest and he looks back to his old self now. He didn't work with anything special yesterday but the manner that he did it, and his general attitude, made me think he's back in good form.
"I plan to run him next in the Diamond Jubilee and, unless anything goes wrong, the July Cup."
Candy added: "I think he put up a career best when he won the race last year. It's a very important race - any Group 1 is fantastic, but the July Cup is arguably the best sprint of the year."
Other stars who could be lying in wait come July 15 . . .
The Coventry and Phoenix Stakes winner is unbeaten in his four starts, all over six furlongs or less, and goes into his three-year-old season with the Commonwealth Cup, for which he is joint-favourite, the most likely of his Royal Ascot options.
Now trained by Aidan O’Brien, Acapulco, a stunning winner of the Queen Mary for Wesley Ward two years ago, has the King’s Stand in her Royal Ascot diary.
At the head of the Commonwealth Cup market with Caravaggio, last year’s Gimcrack winner put down his marker for the season by opening it with a success in the Pavilion Stakes at Ascot this month.
The Tin Man
A big improver for James Fanshawe, he signed off last season by winning the British Champions Sprint and, like Limato, has the Diamond Jubilee on his agenda.