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Hughie Morrison team eyeing Ascot Gold Cup tilt with Quickthorn

Hughie Morrison is eyeing a first tilt at Ascot’s Gold Cup this summer for his star stayer Quickthorn.

The seven-year-old won the Group Three Henry II Stakes at Sandown and a Group Two in France a couple of seasons ago, before registering a stunning 14-length victory in the Lonsdale Cup at York.

He produced a similarly dominant front-running display to lift the Goodwood Cup last term – and while Morrison has doubts about his stamina, he is happy to give him his chance in the Royal meeting’s two-and-a-half-mile showpiece in mid-June.

Tom Marquand salutes the crowd after Quickthorn's victory in the Goodwood Cup
Image: Tom Marquand salutes the crowd after Quickthorn’s victory in the Goodwood Cup

“Quickthorn is back in and has done well over the winter. He came in earlier actually because he was a bit naughty at home, possibly because it’s been so wet,” said the trainer.

“He’s started cantering and although I’m not convinced he’ll stay the Gold Cup trip, I think we’ll have a go at it this year. He’s another year older and the older they are, the further they’ll stay.

“That will be our main target this year and I might be tempted to wait and give him his first run at Sandown (Henry II Stakes).

“We seem to get three or four months out of him and that’s it really, so we possibly don’t want to start too early, but we’ll play it by ear.”

Another horse for whom Morrison holds top-level aspirations is Stay Alert, who ran in Group One company on four occasions last season, with her best effort being a runner-up finish behind Via Sistina in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh in July.

Morrison added: “The owner has decided to have another go with Stay Alert, which is exciting. She’ll be campaigned in those mile-and-a-quarter fillies’ races on genuine good ground.

“We’ve also got Mistral Star, who was second in a Listed race last season, and I’ll be disappointed if she doesn’t win a Group race this year.”

Sky News
(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source