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Classic aces set for showdown

Published 10/06/2015


Make Believe, winner of the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, is set to take on dual Guineas victor Gleneagles at Royal Ascot after he was supplemented for Tuesday's St James's Palace Stakes.

The Andre Fabre-trained colt was added to the field for the Group One for three-year-olds at the confirmation stage, for which 15 are listed.

Make Believe showed he was one of Europe's leading milers when beating his stablemate New Bay in the French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp last month, form well advertised since.

"The decision was made a bit easier with New Bay winning the French Derby. That franked the form, although it was over a different distance," said Ted Voute, bloodstock advisor for owner Prince Faisal.

"Immediately after the race in France, Andre mooted that maybe we would do that and he was happy with him.

"I called him this morning and he said he'd supplemented him. It's great and something to look forward to."

Fabre is also represented by Territories, who chased home Gleneagles at Newmarket.

As well as Make Believe, Prince Faisal retains an interest in Belardo with Godolphin buying into last season's champion two-year-old.

However, Belardo is unlikely to take his chance unless the ground eases considerably.

"He's ground dependent and unless the weather forecast is terribly wrong I suspect he won't run. The ground needs to be at least good to soft for him to run," said Voute.

As well as Gleneagles, Aidan O'Brien has four other possibles in French Derby runner-up Highland Reel, Sir Isaac Newton, The Happy Prince and War Envoy.

Richard Hannon has left in Ivawood, who finished third behind Gleneagles in both Newmarket and Curragh Classics, and Estidhkaar, who disappointed on the Rowley Mile.

Also in the mix are Aktabantay, Bossy Guest, Dutch Connection, Latharnach and Consort.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, the lightly-raced Consort took his unbeaten record to two when impressing in the Heron Stakes at Sandown on the Brigadier Gerard card late last month.

The Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned grey was adding to a maiden win from Newmarket in September.

Immediate options after Sandown surrounded the St James's Palace or the Tercentenary Stakes, and connections have opted to take the Group One plunge.

Highclere tweeted: "Consort given green light to run in the St James's Palace at Royal meeting after pleasing in a piece of work."

Consort has been ridden by Ryan Moore in both of his outings to date, but with the former champion riding Gleneagles, Frankie Dettori comes in for the mount.

Highclere added: "With Ryan on Gleneagles Frankie Dettori has been booked to ride Consort in the St James's Palace."

Already a mover in the market, the Lope De Vega colt was cut to 8-1 from 10-1 by William Hill.

Spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke said: "Consort is clearly a talented horse and punters have faith despite his lack of experience."

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