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Ajero earns extended spell on the Flat

3 minute read

Ajero looks set to remain on the Flat for the time being following his fine effort to finish second in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Trainer : William Haggas
Trainer : William Haggas Picture: Pat Healy Photography

Kim Bailey's seven-year-old made a bold bid from the front under the guidance of David Egan in that 12-furlong handicap and was unfortunate to bump in to Candleford, a progressive performer from William Haggas' firing stable.

A five-time winner over hurdles, Ajero's Flat campaign was initially set to be centred around an appearance at the Royal meeting while options over timber looked sparse.

However, following four consecutive seconds this summer, including the Royal Ascot silver which came on handicap debut, Bailey is thinking of sticking to the level for the time being, with some of the big summer meetings coming under consideration.

"I was absolutely delighted with him and just bitterly disappointed to see William Haggas' horse in front of us," said Bailey.

"The only reason we went for the Flat route was he needs right-handed and the only race he could run in was at Market Rasen at the end of July, so we decided to give him a go on the Flat and see how he got on and it's kind of really taken off.

"Ascot was the plan from day one. We didn't really think we would get in, but we did get in and he went and finished second. So, it's slightly back to the drawing board now and working out where we do go, there's a possible race at Goodwood and also Newmarket. The Old Newton Cup was another idea for him, but that's next weekend and too soon.

Plans appear fluid in regards a return to hurdles in the autumn, with the Thorndale Farm handler playfully suggesting Ajero could be embarking on an international campaign if he keeps on thriving throughout the summer.

"It all depends on what happens between now and the end of summer really. You never know, we might be going to Dubai," quipped Bailey.

"It's a fun journey and he's a lovely horse for great owners. We went to Ascot to have a really good day out and hoping he'd run well and he's gone and run a fantastic race for us."

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