Colin Keane will maintain his partnership with Westover in next week’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot.

Ralph Beckett’s charge was ridden by Rob Hornby on his first two starts this year, winning the Classic Trial at Sandown before finishing an unlucky third in the Derby at Epsom.

Hornby was replaced by Keane for Westover’s Irish Derby run, with connections citing the Irish champion jockey’s experience of the Curragh track as the reason for his booking.

The duo duly came home hugely-impressive seven-length winners of the Classic and Keane will keep the ride in the Ascot showpiece, for which the son of Frankel is favourite in the absence of his Epsom conqueror Desert Crown.

Westover is set to clash with Epsom Oaks second Emily Upjohn after her intended Irish Oaks run was scuppered by travel issues and Barry Mahon, general manager for owners Juddmonte, is eagerly anticipating the challenge.

He told Racing TV: “We’re very excited. We were in this position before the Irish Derby with (Oaks winner) Tuesday getting supplemented, so we’re used to surprises.

“We’re very excited, the horse is in good form. I spoke with Ralph this morning, he’s very happy with him and all being well in the next few days, he’s set to go to the King George and Colin Keane will ride him.”

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Mahon is pleased Keane will be able to maintain the partnership.

He added: “(There’s) no major thinking (behind the decision), he won on him the last day, he’s a three-times champion jockey and we have a very close association with him.

“He’s rode two Classic winners for us and we have a special arrangement with him that when his first retainer Ger Lyons doesn’t use him, we can have his services and he’s available next weekend and Ger has kindly let him off to ride the horse, so he will stay on board.”



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