Grand Nationwide winner Rachael Blackmore might be in motion on day one among Royal Ascot as she groups up with Emmet Mullins’ Cape Gentleman within the Ascot Stakes.
Each horse and rider are extra readily related to the Nationwide Hunt code, with Blackmore famously turning into the primary feminine jockey to elevate the Aintree showpiece when hanging aboard Minella Instances in April, whereas Cape Gentleman is twice a winner over hurdles.
The latest of the gelding’s triumphs got here within the Grade Two Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton in February, however previous to his introduction to leaping, the chestnut was a two-length winner when contesting the Irish Cesarewitch in 2020.
Mullins is now hoping the five-year-old can recreate that Flat type when taking his place amongst a discipline of 20 for the two-and-a-half-mile contest.
“We’re very enthusiastic about him, fingers crossed he’ll run a great race,” he mentioned.
“He is gone up a good quantity within the weights since he gained the Irish Cesarewitch, however he gained it effectively and hopefully there is a bit extra enchancment in him.”
Cape Gentleman has type on each good and heavy floor, however Mullins considers the previous to be his supreme situations and is assured his cost will get pleasure from Ascot turf at the moment described pretty much as good, good to agency in locations.
“He gained his maiden hurdle on comfortable or heavy floor at Punchestown, however I feel he received away with it by means of his class,” he defined.
“I feel he’s a correct good floor horse, I’ve no fears concerning the situations at Ascot – he ought to like it.”
Blackmore will journey alongside the main Flat jockeys when she takes to the saddle on the Royal Assembly, however she will not be a stranger to success on the extent and loved a Listed win when teaming up with Mullins’ Oriental Eagle within the Martin Molony Stakes at Limerick final yr.
“She’s high class and she or he’s been fortunate sufficient for me on the Flat,” Mullins mentioned.
“We had a Listed winner final summer season, so fingers crossed we will maintain it going.”