Off the agenda: no Royal Ascot trip for Turf Sprint hero Stormy Liberal
The path back to the Breeders' Cup for last year's Turf Sprint scorer Stormy Liberal will not feature a trip to Royal Ascot.
Peter Miller's six-year-old sprung a surprise when defeating the similarly owned- and trained- Richard's Boy at Del Mar at odds of 40-1 in November on a memorable day for the southern California trainer, although he subsequently finished down the field in the Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin.
That effort has tempered enthusiasm around a potential tilt at the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, won by the US-trained Undrafted in 2015, in June, with owners Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen eyeing a campaign closer to home.
Brian Trump, racing manager for Rockingham Ranch, said: "We're going to hold Stormy Liberal back a little bit, because he just hasn't travelled well when we've tried it in the past.
"After the Breeders' Cup we considered a lot for Stormy – a trip to Royal Ascot, and even running him in a big race in Australia – but in Hong Kong and New York he just never ran like himself."
The son of Stormy Atlantic, who is nearing $1,000,000 in career earnings, is due to start his season in the $150,000 Daytona Stakes at Santa Anita on February 24.
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