sport

Telescope regains focus

Telescope evoked memories of Harbinger when running away with the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Harbinger claimed this race in 2010 before taking the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes by 11 lengths.

Next month's showpiece over the course and distance beckons for the same owners, Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, and trainer Sir Michael Stoute after an electric display.

Telescope (7/4 favourite) has had his critics after he failed to live up to expectations as a candidate for the Investec Derby last year.

But having given time to develop and mature, he now looks the real deal. He also put two defeats this season behind him in some style under Ryan Moore.

Stoute was winning the race for an eighth time and, for good measure, the on-song Newmarket handler saddled fast-finishing runner-up Hillstar, but he was seven lengths down on his impressive stablemate at the line.

"He was very inconvenienced by the bad ground at Sandown and Chester, but he had his ground and showed what he is really made of," said Stoute.

"If he is in good shape I don't see why we won't come back here next month.

"If he did that again, he'd be in the shake-up in any big race."

Harry Herbert, Highclere's manager, said: "He's such an exciting horse and, as Ryan was just saying there, he's a man now.

"It's taken a while for him to learn how to race, but he's grown up.

"It was the right trip and that was a hell of a performance.

"I stood here after Harbinger had won as impressively and I said, 'Come on, let's go for the King George'.

"He looked really good on quick ground at York and that may be the key to him.

"If it turned up quick in France he would be a huge player."

Richard Hannon snr said of third home Pether's Moon: "He ran a solid race. If they'd gone a bit quicker I think he could have finished second maybe.

"But he's proved he's up to this class and I think there's a Group race in him. A mile and a half is perfect but he could get a bit further."

Owner John Manley: "I'd consider (the Melbourne Cup) if the trainer thought it was the right thing to do.

"We've talked about it and lots of people have asked about it."

Forgotten Voice has already won twice at Royal Ascot and ran with credit in fourth for trainer Nicky Henderson.

He said: "The winner's in a different class, a Group One horse, but we've run well.

"He was a miler, but he gets further now and I think he'd even get two miles.

"I suppose there's the likes of the Goodwood Cup, Doncaster and the Lonsdale at York further ahead."