Mengli Khan Surprise Inclusion For Elliot

Mengli Khan Surprise Inclusion For El Ascot

Gigginstown House Stud have announced plans for twice Cheltenham Festival placed-third Mengli Khan to join Gordon Elliott's roster heading to Royal Ascot in a week's time.

One of the sport's leading ownership operations shocked the world last month when they revealed plans that they would be winding down their investment into racing over the next five years, but it appears they are not done completely just yet.

Their iconic maroon colours with a white star look set to be represented for just the second time at the Royal meeting courtesy of the six-year-old Mengli Khan, who made the podium in the Supreme Novice Hurdle of 2018 and the JLT Novices Chase just three months ago.

Gigginstown's only previous runner in Berkshire came when Midnight Oil finished tenth in the 2013 Ascot Stakes, which appears to be the same destination for the Grade One winning hurdler.

Khan has had an active first season over fences, winning on novice chasing debut at Punchestown before closing the year chapter when coming home fourth at the Eadestown festival in April.

Third at Aintree in the Manifesto Novices' Chase at Aintree, the gelded son of Lope De Vega is searching for his first victory on the flat since winning at Kempton on the all-weather for former trainer Hugo Palmer three years ago.

Gordon Elliott has twice trained the winner Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot, most recently with Pallasator twelve months ago, and he declared his runners for the flat season highlight over the weekend just gone.

(Credit: Racing Post) He said: “Pallasator is going back for the Queen Alexandra and we have a few possibles for the Ascot Stakes"

"We’re looking at also running Mengli Khan, Batts Rock and Lethal Steps in the Ascot Stakes."

Another Irish trainer with many entries to consider for Ascot in the next few days is Fozzy Stack, who is currently gathering a team of five harries, as he bids for a first winner under his own name at the royal meeting. 

Stack took over the licence at Thomastown Castle Stables from his father Tommy, at the end of 2016, and was assistant to his dad when Lolly For Dolly won the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes in 2011.

His team for next week features three juveniles, and he remains upbeat on his chances. 

He said: “Mohican Heights, who won on his debut over seven furlongs at Leopardstown last month, is entered for the Goffs London Sale next Monday and the plan is to run him in the Chesham Stakes.

“American Lady is also in the same sale and we’re looking at the Queen Mary Stakes for her, while Back To Brussels will either run in the Queen Mary or the Albany Stakes.”

Stack added: “Eclipse Storm, who ran second in the Tetrarch Stakes at the Curragh last month, will go for the Britannia Heritage Handicap, while Zihba is an intended runner in the Wolferton.”