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The Lir Jet is set to run at Royal Ascot
The Lir Jet is set to run at Royal Ascot

Bell weighing up The Lir Jet options

Trainer Michael Bell says he will enter The Lir Jet in either the Commonwealth Cup or Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot next week. The three-year-old is looking to win at the prestigious event for a second consecutive year after his triumph in the Group Two Norfolk Stakes last year. 

However, he is set to run on the back of a mysteriously poor showing at Haydock, finishing 10th of 10 runners in the Sandy Lane Stakes last month. Nothing was deemed to be wrong in the post-race investigations and the Newmarket trainer simply put the poor run down to heavy turf before outlining his future plans. 

"He travelled well - and as soon as Oisin [Murphy, jockey] asked him to quicken, his back end seemed to go. Since the race, he's been great and training really well. 

"He ran very well over a mile in the Breeders' Cup, so I think he could get a mile around a bend again. His trip is between six and seven furlongs, but I don't want to be completely tied to it." 

Hukum set for Hardwicke Stakes

Hukum will bid to double his Royal Ascot tally when racing in the Hardwicke Stakes next Saturday. The four-year-old won the King George V Stakes last summer and followed that up with a win at Newbury. 

A further win followed at Goodwood over a mile-and-a-half last month and trainer Owen Burrows is looking forward to seeing what his charge can do. 

"He's been in good form since Goodwood, so the plan is to run in the Hardwicke," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting our horse back on some decent ground, and we'll see what he can do." 

Palace Pier heads pack in Queen Anne Stakes

Palace Pier will face a maximum of 11 rivals when he aims for back-to-back Group One victories in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday. 

John Gosden's four-year-old is well-fancied for another triumph in the opening race of the summer showpiece event after winning the St James' Palace Stakes last year. He has won on seven of his eight outings and is well-placed to make it eight from nine. 

Aiden O'Brien, who won the race last year with Circus Maximums, is set to have a couple of representatives in this year's race with both Lope Y Fernandez and Order Of Australia on the entry list. 

Lord Glitters and Accidental Agent, winners of the race in 2019 and 2018 respectively, also make up what is a competitive field. 

Cobden set for injury return

Jockey Harry Cobden is set to saddle his first horse since Grand National day at Newton Abbot on Friday after recovering from cheekbone surgery. 

Harry Cobden is set to return at Newton Abbot
Harry Cobden is set to return at Newton Abbot

Riding Lucky One in a Grade 1 novice event, he fell four hurdles from home was ruled out of the Grad National - where he was set to ride Sir Alex Ferguson's Give Me A Copper. 

Now though, Paul Nicholls' number one jockey has recovered and is set to make his comeback, pending clearance from the British Horseracing Authority. 

"The injury has healed well. At the time it was uncomfortable, in the fall I took a blow to the side of my face," he said. "They had me straight in for an operation to have a plate fitted. I can't thank everyone who has helped me enough."

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