Caravaggio makes Ascot return

Last year’s Coventry Stakes winner Caravaggio returns to Royal Ascot for the Commonwealth Cup on Friday.

Aidan O’Brien has always spoken in glowing terms about the unbeaten colt and there was even a chance that he would be stepped up in trip for a crack at the Guineas.

Connections resisted that temptation and it looked a wise decision when he displayed all of his characteristic speed on his return to action in a Group Three at Naas.

O’Brien said: “We always thought he was a brilliantly fast horse and we just did not risk losing that brilliance by trying to extend him over too far, even though he never showed us that he wouldn’t get further than sprint distances.

“I think it (the Commonwealth Cup) was a wonderful idea. It’s a great race to have now. When you have a brilliantly fast two-year-old it gives you an option.

“We were delighted with Caravaggio last year and had been looking forward to getting him started this season. We were very happy with him at Naas and everything has gone smooth since.

“He’s a very classy horse with a good temperament. He’s very relaxed. It’s a competitive race and we are looking forward to our horse running.”

The race, restricted to three-year-olds, forms part of the sprint category in the Qipco Champions Series.

Charlie Appleby thinks a great deal of Blue Point, who made a most impressive return to action at Ascot last month.

The Godolphin trainer said: “We have been very happy with Blue Point since he won the Pavilion Stakes and have been looking forward to this race.

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“His preparation has been great and he has conditions to suit.

“He holds the track record and it should be a good burn-up.”

Harry Angel finished second in the Pavilion Stakes but was then a very impressive winner of the Sandy Lane at Haydock – so much so that Godolphin bought him.

“Despite his lack of experience, I am upbeat about his chances,” Cox told

“He is really growing in confidence. I’m thrilled with the feeling he is giving us since he broke the track record in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock on his last start.

“I honestly think Harry Angel is very good. I’ve always had a lot of confidence in his ability and he’s still not the finished article.

“He’s shown a lot of greenness in his behaviour in the stalls. But I think we’ve got a serious performer.”

Cox also saddles Tis Marvellous, winner of the Prix Robert Papin last season.

Wesley Ward runs the unbeaten Bound For Nowhere and said: “He’s immensely talented. He’s a big colt so I gave him plenty of time.

“I paid quite a bit for him so I wanted to do everything right.

“I matched him with Lady Aurelia prior to her race this year and he was a bit unseasoned, having had just one run at a small track. She was much better in every way.

“He ran shortly after she did and, after the experience of that race, he started to prove to me that he was a very valid foe in every work. In one of the works, he was better.

“Having seen the talent he has, I think he has a big chance.”

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