Trainer Harry Dunlop is following Ryan Moore's advice on Robin Of Navan as the Group 1 winner is set to take his chance in Wednesday's Royal Hunt Cup after the three-time champion jockey suggested the big mile handicap could be just the race for him.
Talked up by Pricewise ace Tom Segal in the Racing Post Weekender recently, Robin Of Navan has gone in plenty of notebooks since finishing an unlucky seventh under Moore at Newbury last month, and Dunlop gives his six-year-old a fighting chance at Ascot.
Successful in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud as a juvenile, Robin Of Navan ran respectably behind Zaaki and Barney Roy in Ascot's Paradise Stakes in May, but did not enjoy the smoothest of passages there.
That was also the case at Newbury 17 days later when the son of American Post, having his first start in a handicap, endured a luckless trip under Moore and was left with no chance.
Rated 105, he is 14-1 for the Hunt Cup with Betfair and bet365, but William Hill make him their 10-1 joint-second favourite.
What Tom Segal had to say about Robin Of Navan
He has had absolutely no luck on his two most recent starts but ran really well behind subsequent winners Zaaki and Barney Roy at Ascot over a mile on the first of them. He then must have lost upwards of ten lengths when trapped behind a wall of horses at Newbury next time. He looks sure to be suited by the Hunt Cup, especially if the ground has some give in it, which seems likely at the moment.
Dunlop, who has booked Oisin Murphy for the ride, added: "He's in good form and ran very well at Ascot in the Paradise Stakes and the winner Zaaki has come out and won again and so has Barney Roy.
"He was a bit unlucky under Oisin that day and could have been closer. We then ran him in a handicap at the Lockinge meeting, when everything went wrong for poor Ryan Moore. He got stuck behind runners and never went anywhere, but Ryan said we should try the Hunt Cup and that's what we're going to do.
"We've changed the way we're going to ride him; hold him up and come late, which he seems to enjoy."
Three of Robin Of Navan's five wins have come over further than a mile, but Dunlop – chasing his first Royal Ascot winner – added: "We're very realistic and it's a big challenge with so many runners, but it's exciting.
"He had a funny year in 2018 and things went wrong for him, but he ran well in a Group 3 at Maisons-Laffitte towards the end. We've come back to a mile and he's got more speed as he's got older. As long as the ground isn't too soft or too sticky I think he should run a very good race."
The Lambourn trainer also plans to run Fighting Irish in the Wokingham and Pirate King in the Ascot Stakes or Queen Alexandra.
"Fighting Irish ran well in the Commonwealth Cup last year and that gives him an each-way squeak in the Wokingham, but it's a big ask with such a big field, while Pirate King is a nice staying horse who is improving," he continued.
"He's got to get in, but the plan is to run in one of the staying races."