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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Circu Maximus heading for Queen Elizabeth II Stakes

Royal Ascot winner appeared to have stamina limitations exposed in Juddmonte International at York.

Circus Maximus lands the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Photo Andy Watts / Racingfotos.com

The QIPCO-sponsored Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day is among options under consideration for Circus Maximus after his stamina limitations were apparently exposed in last week’s Juddmonte International at York.

Sixth in the Investec Derby at Epsom, less than three weeks later the son of Galileo justified Aidan O’Brien’s bold decision to supplement him by narrowly winning the one-mile St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

He pushed the subsequently-retired Too Darn Hot all the way over the same distance in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood last month before stepping back up in distance on the Knavesmire – where he faded to finish seventh of nine runners.

Alan Cooper, racing manager for part-owners the Niarchos family, said: “I think what we learnt from York is that 10 furlongs is too far, so he will be dropping back to a mile on his next start.

“The QEII is definitely a race up for consideration. He’s a course-and-distance winner, and that would be a good objective to have.”

Circus Maximus is a top-priced 12/1 for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on October 19. O’Brien last won the race with Minding in 2016.

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