Stevens ready for Ascot

Gary Stevens is set to be in action on four of the five days of Royal Ascot next week.

Gary Stevens is set to be in action on four of the five days of Royal Ascot next week.

The American superstar only got clearance yesterday after a 20-day ban handed out by the authorities in Italy was put on hold until later this month.

“Gary Stevens will be riding on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of the meeting and also possibly Saturday,” said Terry Norman his agent in Britain today.

“Although he’s got a few rides in the offing, nothing definite yet apart from Diamond Green in the St James’s Palace and Nebraska Tornado in the Queen Anne, both of which are Andre Fabre’s.”

Stevens has ridden four winners at the Royal meeting – Predappio in the 1997 Hardwicke Stakes and Cape Cross in the 1999 Queen Anne Stakes both for Godolphin, The Queen’s Blueprint in the 1999 Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes and Membership for Clive Brittain in the Jersey Stakes last year.

Stevens, who is based in France as number one rider to Fabre, found himself in hot water after he refused to partner Sopran Foldan in the Premio Tudini, a Group Three race over six furlongs run after the Italian Derby on May 30.

The Bruno Grizzetti-trained six-year-old had pulled all the way to the start and Stevens announced he did not want to ride him.

Grizzetti insisted that the horse should run and he finally raced with Silvano Mulas in the saddle, finishing 14th of 16.

But Stevens was furious with the decision and lost no time in launching an appeal, explaining that the horse had run into a wall and hit his head.

The ban was due to take effect from today.

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