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Rizeena changes course for June's Royal Ascot glory bid


Crowning glory: Rizeena (left) wins last year’s Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot

Crowning glory: Rizeena (left) wins last year’s Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot

Crowning glory: Rizeena (left) wins last year’s Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot

Rizeena will attempt to take her 100 per cent record at Ascot to four when she goes for the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at the Royal meeting next month.

The Clive Brittain-trained filly will not take up her engagement in the Lanwades Stud Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday as connections eye a third victory on racing's premier stage.

Winner of the Group Two Queen Mary Stakes in 2013, she lifted the Group One Coronation Stakes last summer and is to return for the Group Two fillies and mares contest on June 17.

Added to that, the first win of her career came in a five-furlong maiden at Ascot in May 2013.

Rizeena disappointed on her seasonal debut when only seventh of eight to Bragging in the Dahlia Stakes, but connections feel she did not stay the nine furlongs and will be suited by the return to a mile at her happy hunting ground.

"She goes straight to Ascot for the Duke of Cambridge," said Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum.

"I think she needed the race at Newmarket and she definitely didn't stay. The mile at Ascot is right for her."

Ground conditions at the Curragh are expected to dry out by the time of the two-day Guineas meeting this weekend.

The going was described as yielding yesterday, but with dry weather forecast for the rest of the week, officials are expecting it to be towards the good side for Saturday and Sunday.

General manager Paul Hensey said: "It's been dry and bright here and the forecast is for fair weather between now and the weekend.

"The ground was yielding and we're expecting improvement before the weekend. I don't think we'll be too far away from good for the start of the meeting. It may be on the easy side."

Meanwhile, Brian Meehan clearly thinks Critical Risk is capable of defying a 6lb penalty as he turns him out again quickly in the Waterloo Handicap at Sandown.

A two-length winner at Doncaster just over a week ago, Critical Risk shrugged off a tardy start to win in style and should go on again from the outing.

Heartsong is the pick in the 32Red Casino Handicap at Nottingham,

Belfast Telegraph