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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Motion plans to do it the American way with Miss Temple City

Graham Motion: eyeing a return to Royal Ascot with Miss Temple City
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Graham Motion has vowed to play to his horse's strengths rather than take the Europeans on at their own game as he seeks an elusive first success at Royal Ascot.

The Maryland-based trainer had Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom finish 11th in the Queen Anne in 2013, while his Miss Temple City has come fourth in the Coronation Stakes and Duke of Cambridge in the last two years.

But Motion reckons they suffered from being ridden more patiently than they would have been in the US. He said: "We tried to ride our horses in the European style, whereas last year Tepin's connections were smart in that they just let her run her race.

"I think it's best just to let horses run their race and try not to get too fancy in trying to adapt to a European style. That's my personal feeling looking back at our previous trips to Ascot.

"I really kicked myself with Animal Kingdom for trying to get clever and cover him up. We should have just let him run.

"I thought Miss Temple City's effort as a three-year-old in the Coronation was a really good performance. Last year she perhaps got a bit too far back but still ran very well."

Miss Temple City went on to land Grade 1s at Keeneland and Del Mar last year and has been entered for the Queen Anne and Duke of Cambridge.

"She's handled the travelling very well and her owners have wanted to come back for a third shot," said English-born Motion. "She's physically a bigger, stronger mare this year.

"Miss Temple City is going to run on Derby day at Churchill Downs – the race Tepin won before she won at Royal Ascot last year. To come to Royal Ascot, I really don't want to run much later than this weekend.

"Miss Temple City had a little setback over the winter when she got loose one day. She got some inflammation in a leg which caused me to back off her for two to three weeks. So Saturday is sort of plan B, but she's had a couple of good workouts and is close enough to being ready to run."

Miss Temple City was among 40 entries revealed on Wednesday for the Duke of Cambridge, while the revamped Queen's Vase has attracted 77 three-year-olds.

Sword Fighter (left) beats subsequent St Leger winner Harbour Law (orange sleeves and cap) in the Queen's Vase in 2016

The Vase was promoted from Listed to Group 2 status and had its distance reduced from two miles to one mile six furlongs in an attempt to draw a greater number of quality young horses.

Aidan O'Brien, who has won the race five times in the last ten years, has 23 engaged, while seven-time winner Mark Johnston has made six entries.

Ballydoyle's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Highland Reel could return to the scene of that triumph for the Hardwicke Stakes, in which stablemates Order Of St George and US Army Ranger also feature among 54 entries – up from 42 last year.

 The Queen's Call To Mind and Frontispiece are among 97 entries for the King Edward VII Stakes, while 57 fillies have been entered in the Ribblesdale.

Royal Ascot entries

I think it's best just to let horses run their race and try not to get too fancy in trying to adapt to a European style
E.W. Terms
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