Dartmouth aiming to make it a Royal Ascot double for The Queen

ON COURSE: Dartmouth, seen winning the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot with Olivier Peslier, returns to the track today. Picture: PA.
ON COURSE: Dartmouth, seen winning the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot with Olivier Peslier, returns to the track today. Picture: PA.
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Having already provided the Queen with a Royal Ascot winner in the year of her 90th birthday, Dartmouth aims for a famous success in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Not since 1954 with Aureole have the royal colours been carried to victory in the midsummer showpiece, but Her Majesty looks to have a fine chance in this season’s renewal.

The four-year-old son of Dubawi, winner of the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, had to be supplemented on Monday at a cost of £75,000 in what looked a bold move as Postponed was an odds-on favourite.

However, just 48 hours later Dartmouth was promoted to favouritism when Roger Varian was forced to rule last year’s winner out of the race due to a respiratory infection.

Trainer Sir Michael Stoute, who is aiming to notch a record-breaking sixth win in the race, said: “Dartmouth has kept improving.

“I thought he would be in the frame (in the Hardwicke), but I thought we would win the race with Exosphere (eighth).

“He started the year on 101 and has improved with every race (now on a mark of 119). He is very consistent and will run a good, solid race.”

The Queen’s racing advisor, John Warren, felt it was “a no-brainer” to supplement Dartmouth for the King George.

He said: “It wasn’t an overly difficult decision (to supplement) in so much that we thought the horse had proven himself so well at Ascot that he was potentially up to this level.

“Although we had to think it through, look at the opposition and consider all the conditions, in principle the question answered itself.

“One has to dip the toe in at Group One level to find out how far they can go, and this will be his most serious test.

“He’s been trained brilliantly by Sir Michael Stoute, who allows these horses to come in their own time.

“He’s now got the horse absolutely where he wants him to be, which is paramount going into a Group One.

“It was a no-brainer to put him in and it’s going to be an exciting race.”

Her Majesty will, however, not be able to attend the meeting due to a prior engagement north of the border.