Telescope has sights set on King George

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ALL eyes will be on Telescope as the much-vaunted colt finally gets the chance to fulfil his destiny when he goes for Group One glory in the prestigious King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot today.

Some of his ardent supporters would have expected him to have had the opportunity earlier, preferably in last year’s Derby, but trainer Sir Michael Stoute is renowned for his patient approach.

When the Epsom Classic in 2013 was ruled out after Telescope suffered a setback, Stoute has been firmly focused upon doing his utmost to ensure the horse reaches his full potential.

After winning the Neptune Investment Great Voltigeur Stakes at last summer’s Ebor meeting, Telescope bypassed the Ladbrokes St Leger and did not reappear until this year when second to Prince Khalid Abdullah’s rejuvenated Noble Mission at both Sandown and Chester.

However, the son of Galileo took a giant stride to repaying his connections’ faith when running away with the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Sights have been firmly set on the King George since then and Harry Herbert, racing manager to owners Highclere, is optimistic. “Given the size and pedigree of him, there was every chance he would be reaching his peak about now. It is what Sir Michael excels at and Telescope ticks a lot of those boxes,” he said. “The Hardwicke was the first time since the Voltigeur that we’ve seen him on decent ground and could use that stride that we know he’s got.”

Jack Berry House, the Injured Jockeys’ Fund Centre being built in Malton, is now £300,000 better off after Al Shaqab Racing promised to donate the prize money accrued by 20 horses this year. The total will be bolstered by a further £100,000 if Osaila and Ayaar prevail at Ascot today.

Estimate, The Queen’s 2013 Ascot Gold Cup winner, is among 15 entries for the Goodwood Cup on Thursday. The mare has been at the centre of racing’s morphine controversy this week.