hightori top contenders update
Hightori, fifth in last year's Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I), won his prep for this year's renewal, holding off Idaho Quest to win the Prix Foy Gray d'Albion Barriere (Fr-II) on Sunday at Longchamp.
Galileo confirmed his victories in the Epsom (Eng-I) and Irish (Ire-I) Derbies with an authoritative performance against open company in Saturday's 51st renewal of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot. Piloted by regular rider Michael Kinane, Galileo earned his third group I win of the year Saturday while remaining undefeated after six career starts.
Galileo, the undefeated winner of the Epsom and Irish Derbies this year, squares off against Fantastic Light and 10 other runners in what promises to be a stirring rendition of the group I $1.07 million King George and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot. The race will be telecast live on ESPN News Saturday at 10:45 a.m. eastern time, and replayed Sunday on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m. eastern.
Declaring the course a "mud pie" after walking a circuit at Newbury on May 18, trainer John Gosden shipped Khalid Abdullah's Observatory to Longchamp for the May 20 Prix d'Ispahan (Fr-I). The change resulted in a group I win for the homebred son of Distant View, ridden by Abdullah's new stable jockey, Richard Hughes. Observatory had been supplemented for 50,000 French francs ($6,722) into the extended nine furlongs during the week but his defection left Newbury's Lockinge Stakes (Eng-I), sponsored by Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, without a marquee horse. Seven turned out for the straight mile with trainer Michael Stoute bagging the British season's first group I for older horses with Cheveley Park Stud's Medicean.
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