Feature Story

Royal ready for Ascot test prior to Dubai return

Royal ready for Ascot test prior to Dubai return Jul 9, 2024

By Sam Turner

Connections of improving colt Royal Dubai are eying a return to the Dubai Racing Carnival with the two-time Meydan winner.

The son of Seahenge may head to Ascot on Saturday for the G2 Summer Mile, weather permitting, where he could be joined by William Haggas’ Maljoom, Simon and Ed Crisford’s Quddwah and Roger Varian trainee Embesto, all owned by Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Trained to victory in two Carnival handicaps during the winter by Lucie Botti, the four-year-old was last seen finishing second to Royal Scotsman in the Diomed Stakes at Epsom returned to the auspices of Marco Botti.

Saturday’s feature represents a step up in class for Royal Dubai, but the British weather is more of a concern to his trainer.

“The plan is to run on Saturday in the Summer Mile as long as the ground is not soft, because he does need top of the ground,” said Botti.

 “We have been waiting for that race but at the moment the forecast keeps changing, one minute it looks OK and the next there’s rain.

“The stiff finish at Ascot should really suit him. A mile is his trip, he’s not short of speed but he is a strong stayer at a mile. We think a mile or a mile and one is his best trip, a mile and a quarter just stretches him a bit.

“The plan is to go back to Dubai with him, so he’ll only have one or two more races here. His next target could be York, the Strensall Stakes, and then we’ll freshen him up before the Carnival, that’s the plan.”