Readers of Ahead On The Flat will be aware that the three year old I was most looking forward to seeing run in 2016 was Royal Artillery. The son of War Front had won his sole outing as a juvenile at Doncaster last backend and looked a potential Classic contender. However, prior to yesterday at Haydock, John Gosden’s colt had been plagued with wind problems and had been disappointing to two runs at Sandown and Royal Ascot. Fifth in the Tercentenary Stakes behind the subsequent Eclipse winner at the latter venue, he almost certainly appreciated the better ground in the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock. Partnered by Colm O’Donoghue, he raced prominently with the favourite Scottish and got the better of that rival inside the final furlong to win going away by a length and a quarter. He had some useful rivals behind him and I feel he will be seen to even better advantage when tackling a mile and a half for the first time. I wonder if his connections may consider something like the September Stakes at Kempton early next month (3rd September). The stable won the race last year with another three year old, namely Jack Hobbs. Provided his breathing issues are behind him, he can win an even bigger prize before the season is out.
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