Harry Bentley and Limato race to victory in the July Cup at Newmarket last year. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images
Harry Bentley and Limato race to victory in the July Cup at Newmarket last year. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images

Limato ‘back to his old self’ at Royal Ascot after Dubai World Cup struggles



ROYAL ASCOT, ENGLAND // Limato may well have struggled in the rain of Dubai on World Cup night, but trainer Henry Candy has said he has got last season’s July Cup winner back at concert pitch for Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

Limato came to Dubai in March specifically for fast ground with a huge reputation after a pair of Group 1 victories that took the breath away.

Limato won the July Cup over Saturday’s 1,200-metre distance by two lengths, and then stepped up at the end of the season to win the 1,400-metre Prix Foret at Chantilly.

The five-year-old gelding then had an unsuccessful trip to the Breeders’ Cup and he wheel-spun in the unexpected soft ground at Meydan.

Candy has rebuilt Limato, and jockey Harry Bentley was dispensed with by owner Paul Jacobs and Ryan Moore will do the steering. There is a hint of rain in the forecast, but Candy is crossing his fingers.

“Hopefully it will still be good, fast ground on Saturday,” he said. “If we don’t get too much rain it should be perfect.

“I’ve never seen him more depressed than when he got home from Dubai.

“It has taken us a long time to get him back to his old self, but he seems to be there now.

“He is full of cheek and full of fun and he is working well, so I’m happy.”

On his best form, and on fast ground, Limato should win the final Group 1 of the week in some style, but he faces two horses who finished ahead of him in the Al Quoz Sprint. The Right Man and Long On Value renew rivalry for the first time since their thumping finish at Meydan, after the former outpointed the latter by a nose.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid has a gilt-edged chance of securing a fourth win in the race with Tasleet, having won with Atraf in 1996, Royal Applause the following year and Malhub in 2002. Godolphin will be represented by Comicas, who was runner-up to Mind Your Biscuits in the Dubai Gold Shaheen.

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