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Francesco Clemente makes case for Royal Ascot run

3 minute read

Francesco Clemente backed up his win in the Wood Ditton with a facile success in the Coral Proud Supporter Of Sandown Park British EBF Novice Stakes.

FRANCESCO CLEMENTE. Picture: Pat Healy Photography

With Subastar a notable non runner, the John and Thady Gosden-trained son on Dubawi made light work of his four opponents and his 2-9 odds over the mile-and-a-quarter trip, sailing to a smooth length-and-a-half victory under Frankie Dettori, who barely had him off the bridle.

Royal Ascot could well be on the agenda for the Peter Brant-owned colt, who has some lofty entries, including the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Gosden senior said: "He is a big boy and has done a lot of growing. He is still learning about life and has a big frame to fill out. He stepped up from the Wood Ditton and a couple of older horses made him race there. They haven't gone much of a pace and Frankie says he is still a little bit clueless.

"We will see where we go and make plans. He is out of novices now.

"We were planning to run a bit earlier, but Frankie says he is still very green. It turned into a bit of a dash but he is learning all the time."

He added: "Frankie taught him a lot today. We will obviously be happy over a mile and a quarter to a mile and a half. The family strongly says a mile and a half on the dam's side."

When asked about the possibility of the King Edward VII Stakes at Ascot potentially being a a big step up for Francesco Clemente next time, Gosden added: "Not necessarily. It is early. We'll take one step at a time. We'll see how the race shapes up, see how the horse is over the next few days and take it from there.

"He got put in some bold stuff, some big races, but he is a big frame of a horse and still needs to fill out a bit more. I like him, but he is very immature and he didn't race at two. We need to take normal steps not huge ones."

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