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Cowell set to drop Wokingham hero back in distance

Sprint King Robert Cowell is considering dropping his Wokingham Stakes hero Outback Traveller back in trip for his next assignment.

It gave Bottisham Heath Stud handler Cowell his fourth Royal Ascot winner after Prince Of Lir’s victory in the Norfolk Stakes on the Thursday.

A step up in class is next on the cards for the five-year-old with Cowell saying: “I wouldn’t mind dropping him back to five furlongs – I think he’s nailed on to win something nice over that trip.

“Six furlongs just about stretches him in this company but if we drop him to five, he could be even better.

“I’m blessed to have a really good bunch of riders working for me at the moment, including Martin, who has been a lucky jockey for me.”

On his Ascot double, a delighted Cowell said: “It’s been brilliant.

“We come to Royal Ascot with chances but we never expect to win.

“To come away with two winners is pretty remarkable.

“We do what we do and I don’t really know what it is. We have a certain way of training and it suits horses.

“I try to put speed into horses instead of making them stretch out and maybe bring them back to their two-year-old days when they were all sprinters.”

Prohibit (2011 King’s Stand) and Goldream (2015 King’s Stand) provided Cowell with his other Royal Ascot successes.

Newmarket’s Sir Michael Stoute also enjoyed a big-race double on the final two days of the royal meeting.

Dartmouth, owned by the Queen, won the Hardwicke Stakes despite a stewards’ inquiry.

The 10-1 chance, ridden by Olivier Peslier for trainer Sir Michael Stoute, was her first winner at the meeting for three years.

An inquiry was held after Dartmouth and Highland Reel came close together but the placings were unaltered.

It was a record-equalling 75th triumph at the meeting for Stoute, and a 23rd win for the Queen.

Dartmouth’s victory came on the back of Across The Stars’ success in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes on the Friday.

Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Across The Stars, who disappointed in the Derby, beat Coolmore’s Beacon Rock by a length-and-a-half.

n Dutch Connection, a Royal Ascot hero 12 months ago and runner-up at Group 2 level already this season, heads an outstanding entry for the Group 3 John Sunley Memorial Criterion Stakes on the July Course on Saturday.

No less than nine of the 19 entries for the £60,000 seven-furlong contest have already scored in Pattern company, including four that have been successful against Group 2 opposition.

The 2015 Jersey Stakes winner Dutch Connection began this campaign with second place in the Sandown Mile prior to a below-par effort in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes.

Saturday’s seven-race card gets under way at 2.10pm and includes two other feature events.

The 12-entry Listed £37,000 Tangent Office Furniture Supporting The AHT Fred Archer Stakes over a mile-and-a-half and the 24-entry Listed £26,000 Cambridge News Supporting The AHT Empress Stakes over six furlongs.

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