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Simple Verse has Gold Cup at top of her agenda

11 Apr 2017

Dual QIPCO British Champions Series winner will seek to add to her haul in staying showpiece.

Simple Verse has the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on her agenda this summer. Picture:

Ralph Beckett is eyeing QIPCO British Champions Series riches with Simple Verse and Mountain Verse.

He is targeting Simple Verse at the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, while the Betway Yorkshire Cup on May 19 could be on the agenda for Mountain Bell.

Simple Verse already has two Series wins on her CV, having landed the Ladbrokes St Leger and QIPCO-sponsored British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes in 2015.

Last year she won the Park Hill Stakes last before returning to Champions Day at Ascot to finish a close third in the Long Distance Cup.

“She is back in and the idea was that she was going to go for the Dubai Gold Cup, but she just wasn’t coming forward so we backed off her again,” Beckett said.

“She is back cantering now. I have got a couple of options for where we can start. She won’t be ready for the Sagaro at Ascot. She would be ready in time for the Henry II at Sandown, or maybe the Aston Park at the Lockinge meeting at Newbury.

“I’d say it would be one of those races for her to start with probably. She is a big, old matron now and is very easy to read nowadays.”

He added: “We will be looking to Champions Day again, but I hope to get her ready for the Gold Cup as well.

“She’s shown a profound liking for Ascot and that will be the route I will be taking and we will work our way towards it.”

Mountain Bell won a Listed prize at Chester last September before being narrowly beaten in a Group Three at Newbury.

“She is likely to show up at this stage in the John Porter at Newbury and then we will work up from that,” said the Kimpton Down-based trainer. “I will probably be going up in trip with her this year. The Yorkshire Cup could be a possibility as well, we will just have to see.

“I think we can probably improve again if things go our way. Mentally she is very straightforward. She has a few physical issues but hopefully we will get there.”