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Royal Ascot - Racing: Skazino takes form to Ascot

Progressive French stayer Skazino set up a rematch with staying big guns Trueshan and Stradivarius at Royal Ascot next month when winning the Group 2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier at Longchamp last Thursday night.

The six-year-old is a 16/1 chance with bet365 for the Ascot Gold Cup on 16th June after coming with a late run up the far rail to peg back Joie De Soir by half a length.

Skazino impresses at Longchamp

The Richard Chotard-trained gelding, who was registering his second Group 2 success in Paris, crossed swords with the British pair when fourth in the Group 1 Prix Cadran last October when Trueshan and Stradivarius filled first and second.

After that decent effort, Skazino went onto finish second to another British runner Scope when sent off favourite for the Group 1 Prix Royal Oak back at Longchamp later in October.

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Skazino earns Chotard praise

Trainer Richard Chotard said of Thursday's performance: "Skazino really impressed me and his finishing effort was mad. They went an even pace and then he really sprinted, the split times reflect well."

He added: "He'll now be trained for the Gold Cup. He showed he stayed 4,000 metres [two and a half miles] at Longchamp in really deep ground which wouldn't have been to his advantage. His owners, the Haras de la Gousserie, are extremely proud to have a runner at Royal Ascot and especially in the Gold Cup. The Chehboub family are very well aware of the history and the prestige of the race and we'll be doing everything we can to get him there."

Skazino has been to Saudi Arabia but never to Britain and you can follow his exploits on his UK debut via our Sports Live Streaming service.

On his runner's chances, Chotard added: "Good ground at Ascot over that trip will be fine and the going won't be the determining factor. As long as he remains in good form, he'll go."

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