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Hannon eyeing Royal Ascot run for Lusail

Richard Hannon is thinking of keeping his 2000 Guineas sixth Lusail at a mile, with the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot his likely next destination.

A winner of both the July Stakes and the Gimcrack over six furlongs as a two-year-old, before finishing second to Perfect Power in the Greenham over seven furlongs on his first outing at three, the Mehmas colt was trying eight furlongs for the first time when running in the opening Classic of the season.

The step up in trip proved no problem for the three-year-old, who ran a creditable race and reversed Newbury form with Perfect Power, who was a length behind in seventh.

Lusail could have arguably finished fourth with a bit more luck in running and his fine performance at Newmarket is tempting his handler to stick at the mile distance for his next outing, which will be at Ascot’s summer showpiece.

“We’ve put him in the St James’s Palace Stakes, the six-furlong race (Commonwealth Cup) and the Jersey Stakes,” said Hannon.

“It looked like he definitely got a mile at Newmarket, so you may well see him in the St James’s Palace. I thought he ran a super race in the Guineas, I was delighted with him.

“I doubt (he will run again), he’ll go straight there and at the moment it’s looking like the St James’s Palace Stakes.”

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