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Cape out to crash Anne clash

Aidan O'Brien's dual Group One winner Cape Blanco bids to regain the winning thread in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

He drops to a mile having been beaten into fourth in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp on his latest racecourse appearance.

His jockey, Jamie Spencer, said: "He's an high-class horse - he's won an Irish Derby and an Irish Champion Stakes

"He's got top-class form and has had a couple of runs this season. He won three races, including Group races, over seven furlongs as a two-year-old. It's a tough race with Canford Cliffs and Goldikova and others, but we'll just see."

Richard Hannon is full of respect for his opponents but is confident last month's Lockinge winner Canford Cliffs can emerge triumphant.

"Canford Cliffs is the big one, not just on the first day but of the whole week, and his preparation for the Queen Anne could not have gone any better," the trainer told his website,

"He has looked better than ever this season and has improved since the Lockinge. He was entitled to be a bit rusty at Newbury as he had been off since Glorious Goodwood last year. While he can sometimes be a bit switched off in the mornings, Hughesie (Richard Hughes) woke him up on the gallops last week and they then went to Kempton, where he looked really sharp.

"We are under no illusions how tough it will be to beat Goldikova, who is a 13-time Grade/Group One winner, but the French mare cannot possibly be getting any better at the age of six, and we will sit a bit closer to the pace and hope to do her for finishing speed, like we did Rip Van Winkle at Goodwood last year."

Godolphin's Rio De La Plata rounded off his 2010 campaign with two Group One victories in Italy and was a creditable third on his comeback in the Diomed Stakes at Epsom. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor is hopeful there is more to come from his six-year-old.

Bin Suroor said: "He ran very well last time on his first run of the year and he came back from that healthy and sound. It is a tough race tomorrow - he is running against the best horses in the world over a mile, but we will see. Hopefully he will run a good race. The ground is good to soft at the moment and that will not be a problem for him."


From Belfast Telegraph