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Sonny Liston still under consideration for Derby outing

Charlie Hills has not given up hope of a Cazoo Derby bid with Sonny Liston following his third behind Star Of India in the Listed Dee Stakes at Chester.

The Lawman colt was an impressive winner on debut at Sandown last year, but was unable to land a telling blow on his reappearance when fourth behind Roger Varian’s Eydon in the Feilden Stakes.

However, he took a step forward from that Newmarket run and seemed to appreciate the extra distance when making the podium in one of Chester’s recognised Derby trials last week.

His handler believes that outing around the tight turns of the Roodee will have done the three-year-old good and the Epsom Classic is still under consideration, for which Sonny Liston is a best priced 66-1 with bet365.

Hills said: “We were really pleased with him. Nothing really went right round the track, but he will have learnt a lot from the race and experience.

“He showed a really good turn of foot to get into the position he did, so we’ll see. We’re still in the Derby and we’re seriously considering that. He got the trip well, we just didn’t really get a good crack at it and the horse probably learnt more than we did.”

Hills also provided an update on his two Fitri Hay-owned sprinters, Equilateral and Palace House Stakes winner Khaadem.

QIPCO Guineas Festival – QIPCO 2000 Guineas Day – Newmarket Racecourse
Khaadem ridden by jockey William Buick on their way to winning the Betfair Palace House Stakes at Newmarket will head straight to Royal Ascot (David Davies/PA)

The former missed the domestic summer last season following a fine start to 2021 out in Dubai and could return at Haydock towards the end of the month, while Hills’ Newmarket scorer is set to wait for the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Hills said: “We’ve been really pleased with Equilateral actually, his work has been looking good. He’s a fast horse and we’re more likely to take up the Achilles Stakes (May 28) at Haydock.

“Khaadem, I’d just like to spread his races out a bit more, so we’ll wait for Royal Ascot now. He’s a fast horse now, he’s got some great pace and a high cruising speed.”

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