Clive Cox is planning to run both Wings Of War and Caturra in Saturday’s Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock before they head to Royal Ascot.

Wings Of War capped a fine two-year-old campaign by taking the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury in September last year, but was a disappointing last of four on his reappearance in the Group Three Pavilion Stakes at Ascot last month.

However, Cox is willing to put that poor showing down to a lack of match-fitness and confirms the Commonwealth Cup is still the plan following a tune-up in Haydock’s Sandy Lane Stakes at the weekend.

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“He seems fine following Ascot. I think first time out we can forgive him, he was just a little bit rusty and we hope he can take a step forward next time,” said the trainer.

“I very much hope the Commonwealth Cup would be the aim. His Mill Reef success last year was very pleasing and I would hope that would be the race for him.

“He’ll be looking towards the Sandy Lane at Haydock, that’s the plan.”

Wings Of War (near side) wins The Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury

Cox has used the Haydock Group Two to prepare Harry Angel for duty in the past and he also intends to saddle Caturra in the same contest following his pleasing reappearance when second in the Prix Sigy.

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The Mehmas colt had to carry a penalty in that Chantilly Group Three for his win in the Flying Childers Stakes as a two-year-old and his trainer is keen to give him equal billing alongside Wings Of War.

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He continued: “Caturra will be heading the same way as well. He was very pleasing in his comeback run in France when carrying a penalty and we’ll probably look at the Sandy Lane with him as well and then most definitely the Commonwealth Cup.”

Hugo Palmer could be well represented in the Group Two with Ebro River, who ran in France on Tuesday, along with Chester winners Flaming Rib and Ever Given engaged.

David Loughnane has given the classy Go Bears Go the option having won the Pavilion Stakes on his return while Noble Truth, so impressive in Listed company last time out, could step up in class.

Flaming Rib and Ben Curtis win at Chester

Richard Hannon’s 2000 Guineas sixth Lusail may revert to sprinting, while Simon and Ed Crisford’s Flotus will be hoping for a less eventful race having banged her head coming out of the stalls at Newmarket.

Karl Burke’s El Cabello is another leading player with just one Irish entry among the 15 possibles, the Ger Lyons-trained Beauty Inspire, who was unbeaten in two outings last season, including at Group Three level.



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