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Vafortino team have Royal Ascot options

Kevin Philippart de Foy’s Vafortino has a return to Ascot on his agenda as he is lined up for another handicap outing at the Royal meeting.

The four-year-old landed the stable a big prize when taking the Victoria Cup at the same track earlier in the month, holding off the evergreen Accidental Agent by half a length under Benoit de la Sayette.

As a result the gelding is pencilled in for one of two big handicap events at Royal Ascot in June, the seven-furlong Buckingham Palace Stakes or the one-mile Royal Hunt Cup.

“We are looking at the Buckingham Palace and the Royal Hunt Cup, he will be entered for both races,” Philippart de Foy said.

“The Buckingham Palace is the most likely race for him to go to, he came out of his last Ascot race very well and it’s probably Royal Ascot and the Bunbury Cup next in the programme.

“He proved that he was very versatile as a two-year-old and a three-year-old, he seems to have come forward since then and hopefully there is more to come from him.”

Vafortino’s Victoria Cup success was one of two winners for Philippart de Foy at Ascot’s May 7 meeting, with Juan De Montalban sealing the double when victorious under Danny Tudhope over a mile and a half.

The race was convincingly won as the chestnut stayed on strongly to the line, causing his trainer to consider a step up in trip after potentially joining his stablemate at the Royal meeting.

“He won well and he’s a horse that would like to step up in trip in the future. He’s in the Duke Of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot and the Copper Horse over a mile and six (furlongs) on the Tuesday,” he said.

“He hit the line very strongly at Ascot last time and is a horse I think I will step up in trip in the future.”

On the same day the aforementioned horses triumphed at Ascot, three-year-old filly Pearl Glory was narrowly beaten at Lingfield when contesting the Group Three Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes.

Beaten three-quarters of a length by David Loughnane’s Lola Showgirl, Philippart de Foy considers the daughter of Cotai Glory to have been slightly hindered by a slow start and will look to claim Listed honours over seven furlongs at Musselburgh before a step up to a mile.

“She ran very well, she was a bit slowly away and lost a bit of ground, she got slightly outpaced between the three to two-furlong marker and then finished her race well,” he said.

“It was good to see her running well over seven furlongs, the plan is to go for the Queen of Scots Stakes, the Listed race at Musselburgh (on June 5). She came out of the race well and it would be great to get her to win a Listed race or a Group Three and then step up to a mile.

“She’s shown that she’s got the potential to do it, so it would be great if she did.”

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