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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Soft ground concerns could provide reality check for rising Regal in Unibet Mile

Frankie Dettori and Regal Reality (near side) get up to land the Thoroughbred Stakes
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2.25 Haydock
Unibet Mile (Group 3) | 1m | 3yo+ | ITV/RUK

Regal Reality clinched the fourth Group win in 12 days for Cheveley Park Stud and bids to continue the run into the autumn at Haydock.

It took only three starts to claim his first pattern win when rattling home under Frankie Dettori to overhaul Ostilio and General Ironside in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood last month. 

As a result of the victory, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt has a Group winning penalty to concede, but there could be more improvement to come as he takes on older horses for the first time.

"The ground might be a slight concern as I hear they've had a lot of rain," said Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park Stud.

"Although he's gone on soft ground [winning on debut at Yarmouth] it may not be ideal. He has a penalty for his Group 3 win, but he's in good form."

Oisin Murphy and Zonderland winning the 2016 Sovereign Stakes

The same connections own Zonderland, but the Celebration Mile fourth is unlikely to be favoured by soft conditions.

Trainer Clive Cox said: "He's better on a sounder surface. It was a great idea to enter for this at the beginning of the week, but with heavy coming into the equation we'll be taking a view on how things look."

One horse guaranteed to relish the underfoot conditions is Here Comes When, who pulled off a major upset last year when winning the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at 20-1.

He has not hit anything like the same heights this term and trainer Andrew Balding said: "Here Comes When is in great form and loves soft ground. He's not getting any younger, but he still seems enthusiastic."

Here Comes When beats Ribchester in last year's Sussex Stakes

Emmaus should also enjoy the ground and is fitted with first time cheekpieces by trainer Roger Varian, who said: "The steady gallop didn’t suit Emmaus at Deauville, but he boxed on well and saw the trip out nicely.

"He has good form on testing ground and I think these conditions could prove his optimum. Hopefully the cheekpieces can eke out a little more as well."

Master The World won the Group 3 Winter Derby at Lingfield in February and was given a midseason break before running near to his best when fourth behind Lord Glitters in the Strensall Stakes at York last month.

Trainer David Elsworth said: "He was probably a bit better than the result at York last time where he could have been third."

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The ground might be a slight concern as I hear they've had a lot of rain
E.W. Terms
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