Sir Michael Stoute Supplements Solid Stone For Hardwicke Stakes

Sir Michael Stoute | Emma Berry

No trainer has a better record in the G2 Hardwicke S. than Sir Michael Stoue, who will be bidding to win the race for a 12th time at Royal Ascot on Saturday after supplementing Solid Stone (Ire) (Shamardal), who will be sporting the Derby-winning colours of Saeed Suhail.

Stoute won his sixth Derby when Desert Crown (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) powered home at Epsom just over a week ago for Suhail, who was also successful in 2003 with Kris Kin (Kris S), and the in-form trainer-owner combination will be bidding to maintain their good run of form at the royal meeting. 

Solid Stone was last seen winning the G2 Huxley S. at Chester and will bid to emulate previous Stoute-trained winners of the Hardwicke like Harbinger (GB), Sea Moon (GB), Telescope (Ire) and more recently Crystal Ocean (GB). 

All bar one of the past 14 winners were 4-year-olds and the Charlie Appleby-trained Hurricane Lane (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), winner of the Irish Derby last season, will be bidding to strengthen that record. 

Not seen since finishing third in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Hurricane Lane is likely to give the 6-year-old Solid Stone most to think about, and Appleby provided an upbeat bulletin on the colt's wellbeing.

He said, “I'm delighted with the way he has physically done from three to four and this has very much been our target, we're very much working back from the Arc.

“Compared to some of the older horses he had an extended break as we knew we weren't going to do anything early in the season with him.”

Appleby added, “He took in a racecourse gallop at Newmarket the other day, William (Buick) sat on him and he was very pleased. He needed it in the sense that everything is very relaxed at Moulton Paddocks and he was in a relaxed mode, so William just had to give him the signal to remind him to switch on his racing brain and you could see the penny dropped at the right time.”

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