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Horse Racing - Racing: De Foy hints at royal return

Kevin Philippart de Foy is enjoying a season to remember and has nominated one of his winners at Ascot on Saturday to return in June for the royal meeting.

De Foy landed Saturday's big handicap, the Victoria Cup, with 16-1 shot Vafortino, providing himself and 7lb claimer Benoit De La Sayette with their biggest days in the sport thus far.

De Foy drops Royal Ascot hint

That is not the horse he is nominating, however, as that honour goes to his other winner - Juan De Montalban - who stormed away with the 1m4f handicap under Danny Tudhope.

Trained by a plethora of yards before reaching De Foy's Newmarket base late last year, Juan De Montalban made an encouraging reappearance at Thirsk in April, finishing second on soft ground off joint-top weight.

He showed the benefit of that run in no uncertain terms on Saturday, travelling all over his rivals and he quickly settled the race when taking over a furlong from home, eventually surging clear by three and three-quarter lengths.

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The handicapper is likely to have his say, but De Foy is confident there is more to come from him, especially when he is upped in trip to the marathon distances.

Foy has Juan De Montalban options

"I was very much looking forward to running Juan De Montalban, he's a horse who showed some very good form last year," De Foy said. "We're building him back slowly and he hit the line very well over a mile and a half.

"The obvious place to go is back to Royal Ascot for the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes, but I think he could make a nice stayer in the future, he's a big horse with a massive stride."

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