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Dee Ex Bee has sights on Gold after Henry II Stakes victory

23 May 2019

Last year's Investec Derby runner-up follows up his Sagaro Stakes success with Sandown triumph.

Dee Ex Bee has begun the season in great style over staying trips. Picture: Racingfotos

Dee Ex Bee confirmed he will be a big threat to Stradivarius and company in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot next month with victory in the Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes at Sandown on Thursday evening.

The Mark Johnston-trained son of Farhh, runner-up in the Investec Derby last summer, was backing up his victory in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot in the Group Three prize.

Dictating matters from the outset, the 4-7 favourite kicked from the front when set to be challenged by his stablemate Austrian School and Mekong, before defeating the latter by a length and three-quarters, under Silvestre de Sousa.

Johnston’s charge was cut to 7-1 by Betway for Ascot, and the Middleham trainer said: “I think he is a bit lazy and we probably saw that last time as well.

“I think the extra half-mile (of the Gold Cup) will be nothing but positive.

“We had some reservations coming here in a five-runner race from the point of view of the horse’s rating and reputation, in that he had not a lot to gain, but everything to lose.

“The aim is to win the Ascot Gold Cup and if we are going to do that he needed another run.”

King Of Comedy looks another with the potential to shine in the QIPCO British Champions Series this year after an authoritative win later on the card n the Heron Stakes for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori.

Gosden said: “He is an interesting and talented horse and as Frankie said, he is a good horse but he doesn’t know it yet, which is an interesting thing to say.

“He is in the St James’s Palace Stakes and all that sort of thing. You can certainly look at that sort of race, but I think he is trying to tell me that mentally there is still a way to go.”