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William Haggas with Young Rascal, who is officially the best horse in the race

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

2.20 Newbury
Teddington Royal British Legion Stakes (registered as the St Simon Stakes) | Group 3 | 1m4f

It has been a fabulous season for William Haggas and he has his sights on another prestigious race before the season comes to a close with Young Rascal a strong contender for the St Simon Stakes.

Second-season horses have an excellent record in this Group 3 stamina test and Haggas won the prize with the three-year-old Beaten Up in 2011.

Young Rascal has already claimed two Group 3 victories and has risen to a rating of 116, making him officially the best horse in the race.

The colt, a winner of the Legacy Cup over a furlong shorter trip at the course last month, missed an engagement in France this month.

Haggas said: “It was too firm for him at Longchamp and hopefully there will be a bit of cut and I hope he’s improved for his run at Newbury.

“I think he’ll stay better next year but this trip is fine for him.”

Will Morando defy his pedigree?

Morando’s pedigree suggests he will not last the stiff mile-and-a-half trip on softish ground but trainer Andrew Balding is keen to give it a go.

The colt was certainly not stopping when narrowly denied by Dolphin Vista in a Listed event at Ayr on his latest outing.

Balding said: “It was a good run last time and the ground was the key to that.

“We’re trying a mile and a half for the first time, which is obviously a question mark. There’s no reason he should stay it on his pedigree but the way he ran at Ayr last time suggests it’s worth a try and it could guide us for the future if he can stay. The ground should be to his liking.”

Even more to come from Communique?

Communique has thrived throughout a busy season but will probably need to find a little more improvement to land this feature prize.

In his 13th race of the campaign he showed himself to be better than ever when narrowly denied in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot at the beginning of the month.

Charlie Johnston, assistant and son of trainer Mark, said: “He’s had a fantastic season and has made plenty of improvement.

“This is a strong renewal and he’ll probably need to find a few more pounds to beat Young Master. But the trip and going are ideal for him and he should run another big race.” 

What the others say

David Elsworth, trainer of Desert Skyline
I expect him to run well again. If there was a suitable two-mile race to go for he would be in that. This trip is not ideal for him but there’s nothing much left for him now.

Brian Meehan, trainer of Raheen House

He was second in this last year but he had a tough spring and was a sick horse. He just needed the run at Newmarket last time.

Hughie Morrison, trainer of Temple Church
It’s a trifle ambitious but he ran so well at the course last time we’re hoping for more of the same. I’m hoping the Goodwood race was a blip. The ground was opened up and different to what it was when he won the previous time at Newbury.

John Gosden, trainer of Weekender
The old boy’s in fine form and should run well if the ground is not too demanding. This is his last run of the season and we’re looking forward to having him around next year.

Eve Johnson Houghton, trainer of What About Carlo
He’s been waiting all year for decent ground. That’s the only reason he hasn’t run. He’s won three times at the course and ran well in this race last year. I’ll be thrilled with him if he gets in the first four.


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