x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Novellist expected to make fight for victory at Ascot a triple threat

Andrea Wohler trained horse to challenge Cirrus Des Aigles and St Nicholas Abbey in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Cirrus des Aigles is expected to be a contender at the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Cirrus des Aigles is expected to be a contender at the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Cirrus Des Aigles and St Nicholas Abbey may well be headed for a mouth-watering set-to in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot a week on Saturday but the field that is set to join them is becoming much clearer.

The past two Dubai Sheema Classic winners remain on course for the mid-summer middle distance championship of Europe and could be joined in the race by Red Cadeaux, the Dubai World Cup runner-up. Novellist, who is set to be partnered by Ryan Morre, is also pencilled in.

Last season it was Danedream who became the first German winner of the 12-furlong event, and Andreas Wohler, the trainer, believes that the strength of German form could be showcased once again.

"The King George is the summer Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a very important race in the worldwide calendar,” Wohler said. “The statistics would say that it is not possible but it would be a dream to have back-to-back German winners of the contest."

Novellist was one of the few three-year-olds to prove himself against older horses worldwide last season. He kicked off this campaign last month in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud by beating Dunaden, the 2012 Caufield Cup winner, and Cirrus Des Aigles, who was fifth on his seasonal reappearance.

He came out of Saint-Cloud really well and is in good form,” Wohler added.

"We have always believed in the horse and he is proving it now. He has to improve a bit further to win at Ascot but he will head there in great shape.”

A decision will not be made as to the participation of Universal, last week’s impressive Princess Of Wales’s Stakes winner at Newmarket, until next week.

“Trainer Mark Johnston is going to leave him in the race until the confirmations have been made and he’ll see from there,” Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Abdullah Al Mansoori, said.

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