Ascot aim for Almanzor
Jean-Claude Rouget has named the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot as the first major target for Almanzor in 2017.
Almanzor: Plan is to return to Ascot in 2017
Almanzor, who was named champion three-year-old colt at the annual Cartier Racing Awards in London on Tuesday night, is likely to have one run beforehand in the Prix d'Ispahan at Chantilly in May.
The son of Wootton Basset signed off for the campaign with a third Group One success in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot where he defeated Arc heroine Found. Found also played second fiddle to Almanzor in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes which Rouget described as the 'biggest souvenir of the year' adding 'I think we saw the best field of the year at Leopardstown'.
"Physically, he's a marvellous horse," he went on to tell At The Races. "I had Literato who won the Champion Stakes a few years ago, but he was a small horse and he didn't win three Group Ones like him. He's very highly-rated and is a champion."
"I hope the winter will be OK and the preparation, too. The first target is the Prince of Wales's in Ascot with a prep race maybe in the Prix d'Ispahan.
"After that, we'll see if we go to the Arc with a prep race. We don't know, it's too early to say."
Quiet Reflection will be chasing more honours next year after she became the first three-year-old filly to land the Cartier Sprinter Award.
Winner of the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock, the Karl Burke-trained filly will begin the 2017 campaign in May in either the Duke Of York Stakes or the Temple Stakes before heading to Royal Ascot for the Diamond Jubilee.
She was unable to end the season on a high in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot in October, but had been on the go a long time and Burke intends to start off later next year.
"We started very early last year and Dubai actually comes earlier than the French race she ran in," said the North Yorkshire handler.
"With what happened at Ascot on Champions Day, we are going to bypass Dubai now and she will be prepared for either the Duke Of York or we might be tempted if it comes up soft to go for the Temple Stakes at Haydock, where she's unbeaten, as a starting point.
"Then we'll be off to Ascot and on from there."
Another filly who could be Royal Ascot-bound next year is Lady Aurelia after she won the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly Award.
The American-trained youngster won the Queen Mary Stakes in breathtaking fashion at this year's Royal meeting and followed up with victory in the Prix Morny before being beaten in the Cheveley Park Stakes on her latest appearance.
"I'm sorry she lost her last race but I'm excited for her in 2017," co-owner George Bolton told At The Races.
"What we are doing is sitting down in December and we're going to have a plan, probably half Europe, half US and she'll be ready."
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