RACING: Moore and Fallon could ride Toormore at Royal Ascot
RYAN Moore and Kieren Fallon are the two jockeys in the frame to ride Wiltshire-trained Toormore in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot next week.
Last season's champion two-year-old, trained by Richard Hannon, made an impressive return in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket in April and the initial reaction to his seventh-placed finish in the 2000 Guineas over the same course and distance was one of disappointment.
Subsequent results have shown it was not such a bad effort, however, with Toormore's lesser-fancied stable companion Night Of Thunder taking top honours ahead of subsequent Irish Guineas winner Kingman and Saturday's Derby hero Australia.
Toormore is on course to renew rivalries with Night Of Thunder and Kingman on the opening day of the Royal meeting next Tuesday and with Hannon's stable jockey Richard Hughes unsurprisingly opting to ride Night Of Thunder, the ride aboard the Middleham Park runner is going spare.
Middleham Park racing manager Tim Palin said: "It's very much the plan for him to run in the St James's Palace and in many ways this is D-day for Toormore. It's a pivotal race for him.
"We made some excuses for him finishing seventh in the Guineas, but the form of the race is obviously brilliant.
"The question we're going to find the answer to on Tuesday is whether that is as good as he is or not.
"I've spoken to Richard Hannon and Hughesie (Richard Hughes) has decided he's going to ride Night Of Thunder.
"Our plan B is Ryan Moore and our plan C is Kieren Fallon, so we'll have to see what happens over the next few days.
"Toormore has had a nice break since the Guineas and I'm told he did his usual thing when he worked on Saturday. He's not a horse who burns up the gallops, but I believe he's in great form and I don't think there will be any excuses this time.
"It promises to be an absolute spectacle."
Meanwhile, Middleham Park Racing have yet to decide whether to target unbeaten Hannon-trained colt Kool Kompany at next week's Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot or keep their powder dry for a second trip to Ireland later this month.
Following impressive displays at Leicester and Windsor, the Hannon-trained juvenile completed his hat-trick with a determined display in the Listed Rochestown Stakes at Naas at the start of the month.
The youngster is a best priced 10-1 for the Coventry, with Aidan O'Brien's The Great War a hot favourite, but Kool Kompany could yet sidestep the race in favour of a tilt at the GAIN Railway Stakes at the Curragh on June 28.
Palin said: "His form stacks up and we haven't made a final decision on whether he'll go for the Coventry or wait for the Railway Stakes at the Curragh.
"If it's a 50-50 call, he'll go to Ascot, as there is only one Coventry, but other factors might come into consideration.
"He handles fast ground no problem, but being by Jeremy, he probably prefers a bit of cut in the ground and that would suit him better than a horse like The Great War, for example.
"If the ground were on the softer side of good next week, we may well end up going to Ascot, but we'll just have to wait and see."
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