Queen Anne favourite King Of Change to bypass Royal Ascot

King Of Change will bypass next week's Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.
King Of Change will bypass next week's Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

King Of Change is set to bypass next week's Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, with his trainer Richard Hannon opting to hold back his colt for some alternative assignments later in the season.

An impressive winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes over one mile on British Champions Day at the end of last season, the four-year-old son of Farhh was immediately propelled to the head of the betting for the Queen Anne Stakes. Run over the same course and distance as the QEII, King Of Change was touted as the next superstar miler from the Hannon production line, with him potentially emulating the likes of Paco Boy, Canford Cliffs and Toronado, who have all tasted victory in the Queen Anne, but Hannon is set to bypass next week's Queen Anne Stakes with his stable star.

Talking to the Racing Post, Hannon said: "He's quite a heavy colt who showed when winning the QEII last season that he loves some cut, so rather than campaign him on fast going through the summer we've decided we'll save him for some big targets later in the year. There are a lot of big prizes for him at that time of the season and it was always a big part of the plan, so we're happy to wait."

"There's the Prix du Moulin for him and on Champions Day he could go for the QEII again or the Champion Stakes, when he'd be more likely to get his ground," concluded Hannon

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Following the news that King Of Change won't take his chance in the Queen Anne Stakes, which is the showpiece event on day one of Royal Ascot next Tuesday, it was Aidan O'Brien's Circus Maximus that took over the mantle of ante-post favourite for the one-mile Group 1. Circus Maximus was a sparkling winner of the St James's Palace Stakes at last year's Royal Ascot, and will attempt to bag more notable top-class success at the Flat extravaganza - which uniquely this year will take place behind closed doors.

John Gosden's King Of Comedy chased home Circus Maximus in last season's St James's Palace Stakes, and he could take his chance in the Queen Anne, while the likes of Quorto, Barney Roy and last weekend's Brigadier Gerard Stakes winner Lord North also feature prominently in the betting of a race that could well lack significant strength in depth this year.

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