Dermot Weld still hopeful of Rules run

Ante-post favourite Forgotten Rules remains in contention for the Gold Cup at Ascot on Thursday.

Dermot Weld still hopeful of Rules run

Trainer Dermot Weld has a close eye on the weather ahead of the showpiece five days and would not have been too thrilled to see the Berkshire track mainly escaping the rain that has hit many parts of Britain.

Speaking at Navan on Saturday he said: “He’s in great form and we’re very happy with him.

“As has been well documented, the ground is vital. Unfortunately Ascot missed all the thunderstorms, but we’re very hopeful.

“If the ground is safe he’ll run. He’s a very high-class horse.”

Brown Panther was ruled out earlier in the day after suffering a setback.

The Tom Dascombe-trained seven-year-old passed the post a close fourth in last year’s renewal of the prestigious two-and-a-half-mile contest before going on to claim Group One glory in the Irish St Leger at the Curragh.

Having looked as good as ever when making a winning return in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan in late March before a narrow reverse in last month’s Yorkshire Cup, Brown Panther was set to return as a leading contender.

Part-owner and ex-footballer Michael Owen posted on Twitter: “Absolutely gutted to announce that Brown Panther injured his near fore leg this morning and is out of the Ascot Gold Cup on Thursday.”

Dascombe is unsure how long Brown Panther is likely to be sidelined for.

He said: “He suffered an injury this morning and he needs some anti-inflammatories, so he won’t be able to run on Thursday.

“At this stage we don’t know the extent of the injury, so I can’t tell you any more.

“It’s very disappointing.”

Meanwhile Jim Bolger has prepared a small but select team for Royal Ascot.

The Coolcullen trainer currently stands on eight winners at the showpiece meeting, his first coming through Flame Of Tara in the Coronation Stakes of 1983.

Bolger’s most recent winner has been Dawn Approach, successful in the 2013 St James’s Palace Stakes and a year earlier in the Coventry Stakes.

This year’s representative in the Coventry on Tuesday is set to be the unbeaten Round Two, who has gone down a similar route to Dawn Approach.

Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Pleascach and Newmarket Guineas runner-up Lucida further bolster the raiding party from County Carlow.

Bolger said: “We have a good team.

“Pleascach for the Ribblesdale, Lucida for the Coronation, Round Two for the Coventry and possibly, if I’m brave, Tribal Beat for the Chesham.

“He ran badly at the Curragh, but we could never find any reason and I think it was just one of those things and he wasn’t on form on the day.”

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