In, out . . . Finsbury Square reinstated to King's Stand after change of heart

Should Chantilly-based Spaniard Mauricio Delcher-Sanchez win the King's Stand Stakes for a second time on Tuesday, the success will have come at a price.

Delcher-Sanchez, who won the 2008 running of this race with Equiano and was saddling last year's Diamond Jubilee fifth Finsbury Square for the first time when he landed the Group 2 Prix du Gros-Chene at Chantilly this month, has had to pay a £45,000 supplementary entry fee for a race he was entered for in April at a cost of £2,150 but then scratched from in May – just days before his return to form.

He could have stayed in the race for a further £2,500 at the end of last month, and the overall difference between sticking or twisting to owner Berend Van Dalfsen amounts to a nagging £38,750.

Delcher-Sanchez, who also intends on running Poule d'Essai des Pouliches runner-up Coeur De Beaute in the Coronation Stakes, said: "Finsbury Square has come out of his last run very well and is very well physically and mentally.

"We had a good think about it and there aren't many races for between now and the autumn. It seems the right moment to try.

"He changed stables [from Francois Chappet] and when he came to us he'd already been entered, then didn't run before the scratching stage.

"I think everybody was a little surprised with how well he won the other day. I talked with the owner and, although he'd already been taken out the King's Stand, we felt he was in the kind of form to give it a go."

He added: "We're well aware it's a gamble in a race like this but you have to remember the horse isn't only running for himself, but for the rest of the family behind him.


APRIL 24 Entered for £2,150

MAY 29 Scratched (would have cost £4,100 to run from that point)

JUNE 13 Supplemented for £45,000

Difference = £38,750

"The owner bred him and Finsbury Square has a full and half-sister, so it could be important to try."

The six-year-old will need to finish third or better to cover the cost of putting him back into the King's Stand, for which Battaash and Lady Aurelia head the market.

Also supplemented for a Tuesday Group 1 was the Simon Crisford-trained Century Dream, who has been entered in the Queen Anne, which that looks more winnable than usual.

It has cost owner Abdulla Belhabb £55,000 to add Century Dream to the meeting's opening event, but the four-year-old impressed in the Diomed Stakes on Derby day and it looks a gamble worth taking in a race which, in the absence of Winx, lacks a real star.

Crisford said: "He's come out of his Epsom win in good order and his owner, Abdulla Belhabb, who is a great supporter of racing, is very keen for him to take his chance. He would appreciate any rain that falls between now and Tuesday."
The going at Ascot remained good to firm, good in places on Wednesday, and although rain is likely on Saturday, the forecast for next week is for it to be largely dry.

Clerk of the course Chris Stickels said: "It's been dry since Friday and we've had only a millimetre and a half this month, so we've watered today.

"We're due the odd shower tomorrow, but then it should be dry apart from Saturday. We could get between 2-5mm and I'd welcome that. It would be very helpful."

Aidan O'Brien has five of the 15 still in the St James's Palace Stakes, the third Group 1 on the opening day and indicated that US Navy Flag, Gustav Klimt and Threeandfourpence were his likely representatives.

Royal Ascot meeting next week, picture Liesl King