sport

Telescope tops Richards decs

Telescope will face five rivals when he makes his seasonal reappearance in the bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown on Friday.

Sir Michael Stoute's colt was among the leading contenders for the Investec Derby this time last year, but early-season setbacks meant he failed to appear as a three-year-old until annihilating two rivals in a Leicester conditions race in July.

He suffered an odds-on reverse in the Rose Of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock the following month, but signed off his season with an impressive victory in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York to offer plenty of hope for the new campaign.

The son of Galileo drops back to a mile and a quarter for the Gordon Richards Stakes, a race Stoute has won with Ask (2008), Tartan Bearer (2009) and Glass Harmonium (2010) in recent years.

Last year's winner, the Roger Charlton-trained Al Kazeem, went on to clinch the Tattersalls Gold Cup, Prince of Wales's Stakes and Coral-Eclipse during a memorable year.

Telescope's chief danger appears to be Godolphin's Sky Hunter, who makes his debut for Saeed bin Suroor having won four of his five starts in France for Andre Fabre.

Frankel's brother Noble Mission may have a fitness edge on a number of his rivals, having finished a close second in the John Porter Stakes at Newbury a fortnight ago.

Ed Vaughan turns Robin Hoods Bay out just a week after he finished a creditable third in the Coral Easter Classic on Good Friday at Lingfield.

Ed Dunlop's Magnolia Stakes winner Contributer and Michael Attwater's likely outsider Empire Storm complete the field.

A strong line-up of seven runners has been declared for the bet365 Mile.

The Richard Hannon team have dominated this Group Two contest in recent seasons, with the now retired Richard snr saddling seven of the last 10 winners.

This year his son is represented last year's victor Trumpet Major, as well as Montiridge.

Brian Ellison has declared stable star Top Notch Tonto, who was last seen when finishing second in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot last October.

Fire Ship, Garswood, 2012 winner Penitent and Tullius also feature.

The other Pattern-race prize on offer on an excellent card is the bet365 Classic Trial.

Eight three-year-olds are set to go to post for the 10-furlong Group Three, with Andrew Balding's Impulsive Moment, the Dunlop-trained Red Galileo and Western Hymn from the in-form yard of John Gosden among them.