The three-year-old, who runs in the lime green silks of MPS Racing, will re-appear in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes today.
It’s a race that has been high on trainer Nigel Tinkler’s agenda ever since the son of Mehmas returned from a productive spell in Dubai, which he rounded off with a close third in the valuable Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan.
Mike Spence, who bought the colt privately after seeing him win a Hamilton novice auction stakes for Tinkler last July and shares ownership with MPS, is expecting a big performance. “It’s an open race this year and Ascot should play to his strengths.
“Bataash is the one we all have to beat on form but doesn’t appear to have had the smoothest of preparations, so you never know. I’d prefer to be drawn wide so he has plenty of room to get into top gear.”
Bolton-based Paul Crowe, who runs MPS Racing with former professional football referee David Enright, adds: “We couldn’t be more excited about having a runner at Royal Ascot now that owners and crowds are free to return and are looking forward to getting dressed up for the big day. The fun we’re having with this horse is unbelievable – he’s the best we’ve ever had.”
Acklam Express suffered a slight setback when he returned from a disappointing run at York’s Dante Festival a little off colour, but Tinkler confirms him back in top form.
“A blood test revealed that he wasn’t quite right, which at least explained why he didn’t put in a performance at York,” explains the trainer. “But I’m happy with him now and he will go to Ascot fresh and well.”
Spence and MPS Racing, who also have horses in training with Adrian Keatley and John Quinn in Malton, were planning to sell the colt earlier this year to race in Hong Kong, but fate has dealt them a kind hand since the deal fell through.
Acklam Express was placed in three top level races in Dubai, leading home his group when finishing only three-parts of a length behind Extravagant Kid in the Group 1 Al Quoz on World Cup night – a performance that scooped his owners almost £73,000.
But he had already established himself among the fastest two-year-olds in training when supplementing his Goodwood nursery success with another in the Listed Roses Stakes at York in August.
“It’s going to be a day to remember, whatever happens at Ascot,” adds Paul. “And as northern owners we’re already dreaming of another great day in the sun if he runs in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York in August.”
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