Westover set for a second chance at Epsom in Coronation Cup after Derby misfortune
Westover will be given the chance to erase his Epsom demons when he returns to the Surrey Downs for the Coronation Cup. Ralph Beckett's charge was somewhat an unlucky loser in the Derby 12 months ago when seeing his passage up the home straight blocked as Sir Michael Stoute's Desert Crown was charging towards the winning post. Westover had to settle for third on that occasion but did get a Classic in the bag when romping to victory in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh on his next start. Although disappointing in the King George, the Juddmonte-owned Frankel colt ran an encouraging race on unsuitable ground in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and then made a fine reappearance when bumping into the imperious Equinox in the Dubai Sheema Classic. That Meydan second was the near-perfect way to kick off Westover's four-year-old campaign and his trainer is now looking forward to "physically a more mature horse" returning to Epsom on June 2. "We are not really going back because we feel we have unfinished business, it is more so that Epsom clearly suited him last year," said Beckett. "He handled the track really well for a big horse. It is more the fact I'm looking forward to taking him back there as much as anything else. "As long as we are in the right place with him then I will be happy. I think inevitably he is physically a more mature horse this year and you can see that in him. "I think in the long term going to Dubai will make a difference. We will look back at it in helping make him the horse that he is. "His work has always been good but it has never been stunning. I would be fairly relaxed about what happens at home now. "It is important that he reaches his ceiling on the track. Whether he has I'm not entirely sure. "You would hope that he would be a better horse this year because of his size but he has already run to a pretty high level. In that sense it is about maintaining that progression." Following the Coronation Cup, the Kimpton Downs handler is eyeing further middle-distance riches and is even toying with the idea of a drop back to 10 furlongs for Sandown's Coral-Eclipse - where Westover could lock horns once again with his Derby conqueror Desert Crown. "What I would really like to do, if he were to win the Coronation Cup, would be to drop him back to 10 furlongs for the Eclipse," continued Beckett. "He likes Sandown. He won his maiden around there as a two year old and the Classic Trial last year. "I think the track really suits him. I'd be keen to go back to a mile and a quarter there as it would really play to his strengths. "It would probably be the only time we go a mile and a quarter this year, but that would depend on whether he won or not at Epsom as he would need to win realistically to go to the Eclipse."
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