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By Frank Brownlow

Published 25/07/2015

Hat-trick: Richard Hughes rides Marenko to victory in the John Guest EBF Maiden Stakes at Ascot, the first of a treble for the jockey and trainer Richard Hannon
Hat-trick: Richard Hughes rides Marenko to victory in the John Guest EBF Maiden Stakes at Ascot, the first of a treble for the jockey and trainer Richard Hannon

Snow Sky is a major threat to Golden Horn and Frankie Dettori in the big race at Ascot - according to the favourite's trainer John Gosden.

Ulster jockeys Pat Cosgrave and Martin Harley both have three promising rides on a high-class card, but all eyes will be on the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Golden Horn has been the star of a fantastic year for the resurgent Dettori.

The Italian said: "I rode him last week. He's in good shape and it's all systems go.

"It should be a smashing race. With a good horse like that it's very special and I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can.

"These horses aren't around forever, so I've got to make the most of it."

Golden Horn has been all the rage to continue his scintillating summer in Berkshire following stunning displays in the Derby and the Eclipse, but the wet weather could yet rule him out.

Even discounting underfoot conditions, Clarehaven handler Gosden feels Golden Horn has plenty on his plate as he bids to win his third Group One in seven weeks.

"He showed in the Eclipse that he's grown up and he showed a good deal of maturity," Gosden said.

"He's a very good horse, but in every sense he's still a young boy. He's the equivalent of an 18-year-old kid, to that extent.

"We're asking him major questions at a young age. If he gets beaten, that's life.

"It is exciting to have a horse of his quality in the race. We are looking forward to see him coming here, taking on the older horses over a mile and a half - it's what will bring excitement to the race."

Assessing the opposition, Gosden said: "I think you have got to take the Hardwicke Stakes winner Snow Sky as a danger as he also won the Yorkshire Cup in great style.

"He sets a good standard and although our jockey (Dettori on Eagle Top) got into an argument in behind, Snow Sky quickened well off the lead.

"Flintshire is a model of consistency with top form. He is a very smart horse. Take nothing away from Postponed either, while Eagle Top is in the form of his life right now."

The Gigaset International Stakes looks impossible, though Nakuti might go well.

Sylvester Kirk has long identified this race for the four-year-old filly, who defeated a clutch of nice sorts in the Listed Pipalong Stakes at Pontefract on July 7 and is saddled with just a 3lb penalty at Ascot.

Ulster ace Harley rides Sirius Prospect and Cosgrave is on board Firmdecisions, both for trainer Dean Ivory.

Both have chances in the preceding Weatherbys Private Banking Handicap, Harley on Azraff for Marco Botti and Cosgrave on Pick Your Choice for William Haggas.

The two local jockeys get under way in the second race, the Group Three Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes, Cosgrave on another Haggas horse, Besharah, while Harley rides Kassia for the England striker-turned-trainer Mick Channon.

Richard Hughes and trainer Richard Hannon - the jockey's brother-in-law - enjoyed a treble at Ascot yesterday courtesy of Marenko, Wall Of Fire and Sydney Ruffdiamond.

Meanwhile, Jamie Moore could be out of action for up to 12 weeks after breaking his hip at Worcester on Thursday.

Moore fell from Olymnia in the bettingodds.com Free Racing Tips Handicap Hurdle and was taken to Worcester Hospital.

The jockey now faces another lengthy spell on the sidelines, along with both his brothers Ryan and Joshua.

Belfast Telegraph

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