Simon Crisford aiming Jash at Royal Ascot after win in the Betway King Charles II Stakes at Newmarket
Trainer Simon Crisford always hoped he would be celebrating victory with Jash at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile this spring and, although it came a few weeks later than planned, he was no less delighted with the effort of the colt in winning Saturday’s Betway King Charles II Stakes.
It was previously thought that the three-year-old would take his chance in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas after impressing when finishing second to Ten Sovereigns in the Group 1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at the Rowley Mile last autumn.
However, Crisford shelved plans for a Classic outing and his patience was rewarded as Jash got the better of the John Gosden-trained Azano by a neck, with a further nose to Watan in third.
Crisford, who is soon to be training out of the prestigious Gainsborough Stables in Newmarket, said: “I am very satisfied that he has won and I think he is going to improve a lot.
“He has taken a long time to come to himself this year, so we have not been in a position to run him before.
“We had to rule out the Guineas and all of those prep races because he just had not blossomed but he is coming now.
“He was having a proper blow (after the race). He was just ready to go to the races and I’m sure we will see an improvement.”
That performance saw Jash’s odds to win the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot on June 21 shorten from 14/1 to 12/1, making him the joint fourth favourite to land to Group 1 contest.
He also holds an entry for the one-mile St James’ Palace Stakes on the opening day of the meeting, with Crisford admitting that a decision has not been made yet as to which route they will go down.
“I want to talk to his owner and see how he comes out of this race but the timing is good for Royal Ascot, obviously,” he added.
“We have not crossed the bridge yet as to whether he runs over seven or six furlongs.”
Gosden’s Calyx remains the 6/4 favourite to win the Commonwealth Cup and he is set to have one final prep run at Haydock on Saturday in the Group 2 Armstrong Aggregates Sandy Lane Stakes (3.25pm).
The four-year-old maintained his unbeaten record on his first outing of the year on May 1, triumphing by four lengths in the Group 3 Pavilion Stakes at Ascot.
Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner/breeder Khalid Abdullah, said: “Calyx is in very good form and John has been happy with him since his run at Ascot. The current plan is to run in the Sandy Lane at Haydock and then the Commonwealth Cup.”