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Global stars California Chrome and Able Friend on Royal Ascot wishlist

18 Mar 2015

International superstars California Chrome and Able Friend could both be set to appear in the QIPCO British Champions Series at Royal Ascot later this year.

Calfornia Chrome racing in Santa Anita. Image courtesy of @sarahimages.

International superstars California Chrome and Able Friend could both be set to appear in the QIPCO British Champions Series at Royal Ascot later this year.

US star California Chrome, who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2014, is high on the wish list of Ascot officials bidding to entice global equine champions to the Royal meeting in June, with a tilt at winning the Prince of Wales’s Stakes on the agenda for the four-year-old.

Hong Kong’s star miler Able Friend, winner of his third Group 1 contest in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup at Sha Tin last Sunday, is also on a list of hopeful contenders for the Royal meeting.

"Absolutely at the top of the list from the USA is California Chrome and I am in discussions with the trainer and owners," said Nick Smith, Ascot’s head of communications and international racing. "At this stage, it is not something I am going to rush. It is enough for now that Art (Sherman, trainer) has been mentioning Royal Ascot to the press and I am set to talk properly to the owners in Dubai. He is proven on turf and they seem to have an ambitious mindset, as demonstrated by travelling for the World Cup.”

Talking to the Racing Post, Smith added: "There’s little doubt who the star of Tuesday would be if Able Friend runs in the Queen Anne and the vibes there are very positive.

“I first spoke to the owner [Dr Cornel Li Fook-Kwan] about it at the international meeting in Hong Kong in 2013 and he said at that time he was looking at the 2015 Queen Anne and that is moving closer to a reality, especially after another devastating display on Sunday.

"He has two more runs to complete in Hong Kong and hopefully this will come to fruition. John Moore has had runners before and definitely has winning a Royal Ascot race on his to-do list."