Ground key to Defoe bid

Roger Varian: Won't run Defoe at Royal Ascot unless ground is suitable

Roger Varian has warned that Defoe will only run in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot if the ground is deemed slow enough.

After finishing down the field in a Listed contest at Newmarket on his final start last season, the son of Dalakhani made his seasonal return a winning one in the lucrative London Gold Cup at Newbury last month.

The three-year-old also holds an entry in the Queen's Vase at the Royal meeting, but is pencilled in for the King George over a mile and a half, for which is a 10-1 shot.

The Newmarket handler said: "I would love to run Defoe in the King George V Handicap but he won't run on fast ground. He is a lovely horse and he is really thriving at the moment."

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