Royal Ascot off schedule for Romanised as Deauville double gets top priority

Horse Racing Romanised
Romanised (Billy Lee): connections eyeing a second success in the Prix Jacques le Marois.
Photo: France Galop/ (Valentin Desbriel)

By Jon Lees

Ireland: Dual G1 winner Romanised has become the latest star miler to be ruled out of the Queen Anne Stakes with connections committed to building his 2020 campaign around winning a second Prix Jacques Le Marois.

Ken Condon’s stable star will join last year’s Queen Anne Stakes winner Lord Glitters in sitting out the royal meeting’s straight mile showpiece, in which he finished fourth 11 months ago, and instead begin his campaign at home once the racing season resumes in Ireland after the coronavirus shutdown.

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After winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas in 2018, Romanised established himself among Europe’s elite milers by securing more G1 glory in Deauville and then getting touched off by Circus Maximus in a controversial outcome to the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp.

Condon had hoped Romanised’s campaign would follow a similar path to last year when he contested the Gladness, Lockinge and Queen Anne Stakes, winning the G3 Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh in July before defeating Shaman in France’s summer showpiece mile.

But those plans have been shelved as a result of the delays to the start of the Flat turf seasons, provisionally dated for June 1 in Britain and June 29 in Ireland, although Horse Racing Ireland is pressing the government for an earlier resumption.

“Our feeling is that he wouldn’t be going to Royal Ascot with so much uncertainty,” said Condon. “It’s only 26 days away and we’ve been focussing on the Jacques Le Marois, when by August international travel will hopefully be easier.

“He hasn’t run since the Moulin last year,” Condon went on. “Normally he would start his campaign in Ireland and that’s what we were wanting to do by starting in the Gladness. With everything that has happened we’d still like to give him his first run at home before sending him travelling.

“He won the Minstrel last year in a good time. That’s not till July but if they announce a return to racing there will be a new summary of races published so we will see what programme will come and make a firmer plan.”

After stablemate Success Days, who acted as pacemaker to Romanised in France, went to stud, Hong Kong-based Robert Ng bought the ex-Roger Charlton-trained handicapper Creationist as a galloping companion.

“He has settled in well and is a helpful addition,” said Condon. “Romanised is Mr Ng’s favourite horse. He was very sporting to keep him in training when the horse could have gone to stud last year. Hopefully he will be rewarded for that.

“So we will be really trying to have Romanised peaking at Deauville with the Prix du Moulin after that.”

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