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Flying Officer pencilled in for Sagaro Stakes

13 Apr 2016

Flying Officer, one of the star turns on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot in October, could make his reappearance back at the Berkshire venue in the Longines Sagaro Stakes on April 27.

Flying Officer provides Frankie Dettori and John Gosden with a first QIPCO British Champions Day success last year. Image copyright of Racingfotos.com.

Flying Officer, one of the star turns on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot in October, could make his reappearance back at the Berkshire venue in the Longines Sagaro Stakes on April 27.

John Gosden’s lightly raced six-year-old would be using the £60,000 Group 3 contest as part of his preparation for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on June 16, for which he is generally quoted at 12-1.

“We might look at a race like the Sagaro,” Gosden said. “You’ve really got that race and the Henry II Stakes [at Sandown on May 26] as places to go. He’s on target for one of those, or both.

“He’s a delicate old flower so we have to keep his races well spaced – sometimes a year between races – but he breezed yesterday morning [Tuesday] and is in good form. I’m very happy with him.”

Flying Officer, who stands 17 hands high, was bred by his owner George Strawbridge and belatedly provided Gosden with his first Champions Day winner when successful under Frankie Dettori.

“George is one of the last great breeders of stayers – certainly the last one in America,” the champion trainer said after that victory. “Flying Officer is quite a character; his brother Lucarno [the 2007 St Leger winner] was a big, aggressive horse. This one is more suspicious and inclined to check what’s going on around him all the time.