Group One winning trainer Roger Teal was very much looking forward to seeing Ocean Wind take up his engagement in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot but after his latest below par effort at Sandown those plans have been scrapped and he will now miss the royal meeting.
The five year old this season really put himself into the frame for the Gold Cup, finishing second behind 2019 St Leger second Sir Ron Priestley on seasonal debut and then backing that up at Ascot in the Group Three Sagaro Stakes when only being beat a length by Stradivarius.
After the Ascot run Teal was dreaming big with his horse, deciding to give him one more run before heading to the royal meeting and unfortunately he gave his worst run of the season.
The 4/5 favourite for the Group Three Henry II Stakes was a long way back in third, finishing 15 lengths behind the winner Lismore for Henry De Bromhead.
Teal does not feel comfortable about the prospect of running in the Gold Cup following such a below-par performance and will now aim him towards the Goodwood Cup instead.
(Credit ATR) The trainer said: “He underperformed at Sandown, so we want to freshen him up and we’ll put him away for Goodwood.
“You couldn’t go to Ascot and take Stradivarius on off the back of that run. His bloods were wrong afterwards, and I think that was probably because of the stress of the race – it was on very testing, gluey ground.
“He didn’t look happy from an early stage of the race. He’s gone on soft ground, but it was probably too tacky for him on the day.
“I’ve had a chat with the owner, and we think (missing Ascot) is the best thing to do.”