The absence of star stayer Trueshan has left a wide open Coral Henry II Stakes at Sandown on Thursday, May 26 and Quickthorn could fill the gap.
Hughie Morrison's five-year-old won the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot last Summer and was second to Alan King's Trueshan in the Further Flight at Nottingham in April.
A further runner-up spot in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot behind Princess Zoe signalled that Quickthorn will go in soon in a staying heat. King had planned to race Trueshan in the Henry II but with too little rain falling will look for another chance to prepare for the Ascot Gold Cup in June. That has presented an opprtunity to Berkshire handler Morrison who said : "We wouldn't have gone if Trueshan had been there, to be honest. It is slightly an afterthought as we thought Trueshan would be running. "Quickthorn has had a couple of races already this season and I hope I haven't gone back to the well too quickly. "I don't think he would want the ground too quick, but the clerk of the course assures me it will be different to what it was like last week and he's a good horse who deserves to win a Stakes race." Quickthorn goes up again against Ian Williams' Enemy, who was only touched off into third place by a neck in the Sagaro. Meanwhile, Mark and Charlie Johnston's Thunderous has a good chance of Henry II glory after pushing Stradivarius in the Yorkshire Cup earlier this month but who is stepped up to two miles for the first time. Harry Herbert, managing director for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, said: "He's in great form, came out of York very well and it's an open-looking race without Trueshan. "If he stays two miles then hopefully he's got a really good chance. We're in unknown territory, but he wasn't stopping the other day (at York) and it looks like he'll have every chance of staying, so we're looking forward to Sandown." Ed Dunlop's one time Derby hope John Leeper and Andrew Balding's pair of Alounak and Nate The Great also line up in Surrey.
— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) April 27, 2022
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