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Japanese star Cheval Grand on course for King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes

12 Jun 2019

The 2017 Japan Cup winner is among 38 high-class entries for QIPCO-sponsored midsummer showpiece.

Poet’s Word beat Crystal Ocean in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes last year. The latter could try and go one better. Picture: Steve Davies/Racingfotos.com

Top-class Japanese performer Cheval Grand is among 38 entries for the QIPCO-sponsored King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on July 27.

Winner of the Japan Cup in 2017, the seven-year-old finished second to Old Persian in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March.

Cheval Grand’s sire, Heart’s Cry, finished third to Hurricane Run in the QIPCO British Champions midsummer showpiece in 2006, the best performance of the four Japanese-trained runners in the race to date.

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer of Cheval Grand, said: “It is a great honour for me to send a runner for such a prestigious race at Ascot and I am very excited.

“Cheval Grand’s sire Heart’s Cry ran very bravely in King George in 2006, finishing third behind Hurricane Run and Electrocutionist.

“In fact, I recently had a call from Kojiro Hashiguchi, the trainer of Heart’s Cry who stopped training two years ago, and he has given me some useful advice.

“I would like to win the King George for Japan.”

The past two Derby winners, Masar and Anthony Van Dyck, along with dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Enable head up the British and Irish contingent.

Along with Anthony Van Dyck, Aidan O’Brien has the likes of Magical, Pink Dogwood and Kew Gardens entered.

Enable’s trainer John Gosden has two other smart fillies entered, Lah Ti Dar and Coronet, while Charlie Appleby’s Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter could join stablemate Masar.

Sir Michael Stoute has a better record in the race than any current trainer with six winners and could send last year’s runner-up Crystal Ocean and Mirage Dancer.

William Haggas’ Arc second Sea Of Class, Coronation Cup winner Defoe and Salouen are also in the home team.