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'I’m really excited about his chance' - Regional can threaten at Royal Ascot admits Ed Bethell

Trainer Ed Bethell believes the King Charles III Stakes at Royal Ascot is “tailor-made” for Regional following his stable star’s pleasing comeback at the Curragh on Saturday.

A Group One winner in last season’s Sprint Cup at Haydock, the six-year-old was being readied for a return to Merseyside for Saturday’s Temple Stakes, but the prevailing soft ground prompted a late change of plan.

Instead, Regional crossed the Irish Sea to contest the Group Two Greenlands Stakes on Irish 2,000 Guineas day and ran an excellent race in defeat, cutting out much of the running before being mowed down late by fellow British raider Mitbaahy.

Bethell could not have been prouder of his charge in defeat and is confident he will head to Ascot as a major player next month.

“He ran really well, delighted with him,” said the North Yorkshire-based trainer.

“A stiff six (furlongs) just found him out and all roads lead to the King Charles at Royal Ascot. Hopefully we’ll get good, fast ground there and I’m really excited about his chance over five furlongs on that track.

“The whole idea was to go to the Temple, but the ground went against us at Haydock, so we went to the Curragh for the ground. A stiff six would never have been his cup of tea, but a stiff five at Ascot will be tailor-made for him.

“It’s what we all do it for, to have chances going down there, let alone a live one. To have runners at Royal Ascot is what we all do it for and we’re really excited, fingers crossed he’ll get there.”

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