Arecibo is set for the King’s Stand Stakes after headlining the first home four for trainer Robert Cowell in the WSG Sports Handicap at Newmarket on Saturday.
The six-year-old defied the steadier of 10st in tremendous style, by two and a quarter lengths in the hands of Frankie Dettori, with stablemates Ishvara, Benefit Street and Blue De Vega filling the next three places to give Cowell a remarkable clean sweep at his local track.
That smart performance has Cowell eyeing a possible third success in next month’s Group One dash at Royal Ascot, after Prohibit in 2011 and Goldream in 2015.
“Arecibo is going to Royal Ascot. He’s a class horse. I don’t know how much he’ll go up in the handicap, but I think he’s certain to go up 5lb or 6lb and that warrants him a place in the King’s Stand line-up in my mind,” he said.
“He’s clearly very useful and tracking a really fast place will really help him. I think the stiff Ascot finish will help him and he goes on any ground.
“He’s tailor-made for the race. He’ll definitely go for the King’s Stand.
“It’s been a lucky race for us and it’s race we’ve won a couple of times and a race I’d love to win again.
“Apart from Battaash, the rest of them are as equally as good as each other.
“We’ll see, but it’s exciting to have a horse of his calibre and hopefully he’ll show up on the day.”
Cowell reflected on his achievement of saddling the first four home in a race – almost matching Michael Dickinson’s ‘Famous Five’ from the 1983 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
“That did tickle me a bit. I’ve not had anything like that happen to us before,” he said.
“We’ve had a one-two in races, but nothing like that. I suppose you have at least four in the race to have a chance of doing something like that. We’ve got some ammunition, which is great.
“The course is just down the road from us so it made it an obvious choice for these horses.
“All four are in tip-top shape, they’re happy and all is good.”