Margarson issues Guest warning
Friday 13 July 2012
Second in this race 12 months ago on good to firm, the five-year-old returns to the July Course on the back of a fine run at Royal Ascot, where he was only beaten half-a-length by Prince Of Johanne in the Royal Hunt Cup.
"I'm concerned about the draw and the ground for Excellent Guest. We're drawn 20 but he's a horse that travels so we'll have to see how the race pans out. He's been in good form since Ascot, he's very well in himself and is ready to go," said Margarson.
"I am disappointed the ground has gone. He was second in the Buckingham Palace on soft ground at Ascot last year, but I felt he would have won if it had been better ground.
"Good to soft ground is an issue, but it would worry me if we had a lot of rain and it went heavy. If if it was like the ground on Thursday then I wouldn't be worried at all. I'm just hoping it stays dry.
"He's in the International at Ascot next week and there is usually two weeks between them so it's difficult, and then you've got Glorious Goodwood about 10 days after that, so it's all saturated. If the ground went really, really bad then he would be a non-runner."
Margarson, who won this race in 2001 with Atavus, also plans to run Excellent Guest's half-brother Imperial Guest.
"He's better on decent ground as well. He was a bit unlucky at Ascot (in the Buckingham Palace Stakes) and he's been working better than his half-brother," said the trainer.
"He's drawn on the same side as Excellent Guest. You have to ride them with restraint in these big handicaps and this race could play to his strengths. He's also in the International at Ascot next week and he's in the Stewards' Cup at Glorious Goodwood, but I'm not sure he'll get in."