Autumn trip to Ascot on the agenda for Marois hero Al Wukair

Fri 18 Aug 2017

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot remains the likely target for Al Wukair following his thrilling victory in the Prix Jacques le Marois last weekend.

After finishing third in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier in the season, Andre Fabre's colt suffered an odds-on reverse on his return from a break at Maisons-Laffitte last month.

But he showed his true colours at Deauville, digging deep to claim Group One glory by a short-head and he is likely to return to Britain for Champions Day on October 21.

Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Al Shaqab Racing, said: "It was a fantastic ride by Frankie Dettori. He got a really nasty whack on the head at a crucial part of the race and still managed to win.

"He seems to love that ground. I think Andre Fabre wants to sit on it, but the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on soft ground would probably be a pretty likely target for him.

"Whether he goes further between now and then, we will have to wait for the master trainer to speak. He is doing physically well and I thought he looked really well on Sunday.

"He has always been held in the highest regard and it was lovely to see him win his Group One."

Al Shaqab's top-class filly Qemah is set to return to Ireland for a tilt at the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes next month.

Jean-Claude Rouget's charge was beaten just half a length into fourth place when defending her crown in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville last month and is now pencilled in for a trip to Leopardstown, where she finished third last season.

"She might well go to the Matron now. She ran really well the other day and she is a filly that has got a huge amount of ability," Herbert added.

"Sometimes she can be a bit too free and keen for her own good. When they are free, trying to come off the pace in that ground is really difficult."



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