Calyx on course for Commonwealth Cup tilt

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Calyx will feature in the Commonwealth Cup after easing to victory in the Merriebelle Stable Commonwealth Cup Trial Stakes at Ascot.

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The three-year-old son of Kingman had been lined up for this weekend’s 2000 Guineas until last week when trainer John Gosden instead opted for Wednesday’s six-furlong run given his inactivity for almost 12 months.

Under the guidance of Frankie Dettori, Calyx was taken down the outside and surged to the front as he claimed a comfortable win by four lengths ahead of No Nonsense.

And when asked about his future plans, Gosden revealed that he will feature in the Commonwealth Cup at Ascot on June 22 rather than his original plan of racing him over a mile.

He said: “It was great. He went so fast Frankie’s hat flew off.

“He came back and said ‘John, he may be bred to be a miler, but he likes to sprint’, so all being well, we will be back here for the Commonwealth Cup.

“It is a great race now for three-year-olds and that is where he ought to go and he clearly showed that today.

“He travelled well and I like the fact he travelled on the wing of the field with no cover. He relaxed, but when he asked him to go, he showed real electric sprinting speed.

“I’ve been training him diligently to be a miler, but when he goes out there he wants to be a sprinter. I’ve not encouraged him to do that – that is him.”

Meanwhile, trainer Aidan O’Brien praised the way his son, Donnacha, rode Magna Grecia to victory in Saturday’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Magna Grecia pulled off a two-and-a-half-length victory over King Of Change at Headquarters as O’Brien landed the prestigious race for the 10th time in his career.

Skardu, under James Doyle, was third but it was all about the son of Invincible Spirit, who made it three in a row for the Wexford handler after Churchill’s 2017 triumph and Saxon Warrior’s victory last year.

The field split early in the race, with O’Brien’s charge one of just three horses racing near the stands’ rail.

That could have been an issue but the 49-year-old was pleased with the way both horse and jockey responded.

“I’m delighted. He is a lovely, straightforward horse and he has done well over the winter. He has got very pacey. He is a strong traveller now and is very uncomplicated,” he said.

“We were a little bit worried as he was over there by himself and all the fancied runners were over on the other side. Donnacha gave him a lovely ride, had him in a lovely position and in a lovely rhythm and I couldn’t be happier really.”

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