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2014 Racing News

2014 King George VI

Ektihaam King George bid still an Option list

There is growing doubt that the talented Ektihaam will be fully recovered from his Royal Ascot spill to take his chance at the forthcoming Newmarket July fixture in one of the big races of the meeting, the Group 2 Princess of Walesís Stakes on July 11.

The Roger Varian-trainer son of Invincible Spirit has proved a progressive performer in recent seasons over middle distances and was in the process of running another big race when bowling along in the lead in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.

In a dramatic contest, Paul Hanaganís mount was tanking along in front as the field approached the half-way stage of the race when he unexpectedly slipped up and gave the former champion jockey no chance of staying on board.

Thankfully, Hanagan was unscathed and the race continued with Ektihaam running loose while Lady Cecilís Thomas Chippendale went on to a cosy success before inexplicably collapsing a few strides after the line where he tragically died moments later.

Ektihaam returned to the Varian yard with swelling on one of his joints which connections feel may rule him out of the Newmarket event. They are hopeful however that he will recover in time to do enough serious work to allow him to take his chance at Ascot on July 27 in the mid-summer showcase race, the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, for which he is generally available at 10/1 on Betfair.com.

A close third to subsequent dual Group 1 winner Al Kazeem at Sandown in April in the Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes, Ektihaam duly scored on his subsequent start when proving too good for the ill-fated Thomas Chippendale in the listed Buckhounds Stakes at Ascot in May.






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