Aces set for St James’s Palace Stakes showdown

Make Believe, winner of the Poule d’Essai des Poulains, is set to take on dual Guineas victor Gleneagles at Royal Ascot after he was supplemented for Tuesday’s St James’s Palace Stakes.

Aces set for St James’s Palace Stakes showdown

The Andre Fabre-trained colt was added to the field for the Group One for three-year-olds over the round mile at the confirmation stage, for which 15 are listed.

Make Believe showed he was one of Europe’s leading milers when beating his stablemate New Bay in the French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp last month, form well advertised since.

“The decision was made a bit easier with New Bay winning the French Derby. That franked the form, although it was over a different distance,” said Ted Voute, bloodstock advisor for owner Prince Faisal.

“Immediately after the race in France, Andre mooted that maybe we would do that and he was happy with him. I called him this morning and he said he’d supplemented him. It’s great and something to look forward to.”

Fabre is also represented by Territories, who chased home Gleneagles at Newmarket.

As well as Make Believe, Prince Faisal retains an interest in Belardo with Godolphin buying into last season’s champion two-year-old.

However, Belardo is unlikely to take his chance unless the ground eases considerably. “He’s ground dependent and unless the weather forecast is terribly wrong I suspect he won’t run. The ground needs to be at least good to soft for him to run,” said Voute.

As well as Gleneagles, Aidan O’Brien has four other possibles in French Derby runner-up Highland Reel, Sir Isaac Newton, The Happy Prince and War Envoy.

Richard Hannon has left in Ivawood, who finished third behind Gleneagles in both Newmarket and Curragh Classics, and Estidhkaar, who disappointed on the Rowley Mile.

Also in the mix are Aktabantay, Bossy Guest, Consort, Dutch Connection and Latharnach.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, the lightly-raced Consort took his unbeaten record to two when impressing in the Heron Stakes at Sandown on the Brigadier Gerard card late last month.

The Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned grey was adding to a maiden win from Newmarket in September.

Immediate options after Sandown surrounded the St James’s Palace or the Tercentenary Stakes, and connections have opted to take the Group One plunge.

Highclere tweeted: “Consort given green light to run in the St James’s Palace at Royal meeting after pleasing in a piece of work.”

Already a mover in the market, the Lope De Vega colt was cut to 8-1 from 10-1 by William Hill.

Spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke said: “Consort is clearly a talented horse and punters have faith despite his lack of experience.”

Consort has been ridden by Ryan Moore in both of his outings to date, but with the former champion riding Gleneagles, Frankie Dettori comes in for the mount.

Highclere added: “With Ryan on Gleneagles Frankie Dettori has been booked to ride Consort in the St James’s Palace.”

Meanwhile French ace Solow and Hong Kong superstar Able Friend remain on course for a mouthwatering clash at Royal Ascot next week after starring among 11 confirmations for Tuesday’s Queen Anne Stakes.

Solow was a brilliant winner of the Dubai Turf at Meydan in late March and is set to go off the red-hot favourite after after an equally stunning display in last month’s Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp.

Victory would provide trainer Freddy Head with a second victory in the Royal Ascot curtain-raiser following the magnificent mare Goldikova’s triumph in 2010.

John Moore’s Able Friend is almost untouchable in his homeland and adds intrigue to what promises to be a thrilling contest.

Heading the home challenge is Richard Hannon’s Night Of Thunder.

Last year’s 2000 Guineas hero made a successful return in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and is set to be reopposed by his stable companion and Newbury runner-up Toormore.

Lockinge third Arod is also in the mix after subsequently winning the Diomed Stakes at Epsom in some style for Peter Chapple-Hyam.

Andre Fabre’s mare Esoterique is another possible raider from across the Channel, while the only potential Irish-trained runner is Aidan O’Brien’s Cougar Mountain.

Recent Haydock winner Cable Bay, Glory Awaits, Here Comes When and Rizeena complete the acceptors.

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