Sir Michael Stoute won’t be afraid to drop Crystal Ocean back to a mile and a quarter following his narrow defeat at Ascot last month. The four-year-old kicked off his 2018 campaign with victory over a mile and a quarter in the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown before stepping up to a mile and a half to win a Group Three at Newbury and the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.
But it was stablemate Poet’s Word who gave legendary trainer Stoute his sixth victory in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in late July.
Crystal Ocean pulled a long way clear of the third on his unsuccessful return to Ascot and now has several races – including the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes – on his radar.
Stoute’s assistant, James Horton, said: “He only did his first loosener since the King George on Saturday morning and he looks to have come out of the race really well. He has got a lot of options at the end of the season. There are options in Ireland, France and here for him.
“I don’t think you would be afraid of dropping him back to a mile and a quarter if we needed to. We will just how he comes along and then map out a campaign.”