Jockey William Buick has reaffirmed his faith in Royal Ascot winner Eagle Top and believes it would be “logical” to supplement the John Gosden-trained colt for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes next month.
The son of Pivotal, who is related to Oaks winner Sariska, swept to an impressive success from the heavily-backed Adelaide in the King Edward VII Stakes on Friday, a race Gosden won in 2011 with Nathaniel, who went on to King George glory by beating Derby winner Workforce.
“I think you saw an exceptional horse in the making when Eagle Top won the King Edward VII Stakes impressively,” said the Northern Racing College graduate whose three winners included The Fugue, who lowered the colours of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Treve in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
“I firmly believe that he could be absolutely anything because what he did in that race was something that not many horses can do – pick the field up in a very short distance. I’m sure that he wouldn’t want the ground very quick but Friday’s conditions were absolutely fine.
“I won the race on Nathaniel in 2011 and he went on to win the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes so it’s logical for Eagle Top to be supplemented – even though Telescope was impressive in the Hardwicke Stakes.
“It’s a decent weight-for-age allowance in July and I’d put him ahead of Nathaniel at this stage, although they were completely different horses. Nathaniel would grind down the opposition and just not give any horse an inch but Eagle Top has raw pace and ability which I don’t think you’ve seen the best of yet. He didn’t race at two and this was only the third race of his life.”
The King George option lessens the likelihood of Eagle Top appearing in September’s Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster.
The horse’s rivals on July 26 are set to include Sir Michael Stoute’s Telescope, who was an emphatic winner of the Hardwicke Stakes under Ryan Moore.
As for Treve, the French raider’s lacklustre display has been attributed to pulled muscles in her quarters. She will have a lay-off before being trained for the Arc in early October.
Meanwhile, Eddie Lynam’s sprinting stars Sole Power and Slade Power are set to clash for a second time in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket. The pair gave owners David and Sabena Power a week of a lifetime when winning the King’s Stand Stakes and Diamond Jubilee respectively.
The Willie Mullins-trained Pique Sous, the winner of the Queen Alexandra Stakes over a marathon two miles and five furlongs, could line up in Saturday’s John Smith’s Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.
The weights are headed by stablemate Simenon, who was fifth in the Ascot Gold Cup, while Mullins – Ireland’s champion jumps trainer – has also entered the Graham and Andrea Wylie-owned Lucky Bridle for the two-mile feature.
The race has particular resonance to Wylie – he is a successful North East businessman whose top National Hunt horses included Inglis Drever and Tidal Bay.
Pique Sous is the early 6-1 favourite with the bookmakers and William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke said: “Plenty of punters will see this as a penalty-kick, but hopefully he’ll follow in the footsteps of Geordie-icon Chris Waddle – and miss.”