Royal Ascot News: Gosdens' Francesco Clemente has King Edward VII Stakes potential

It was a nondescript Sandown race to prepare for Royal Ascot and the Arc in Paris but Francesco Clemente got the job done and will now prepare for loftier challenges for the Gosdens.

Francesco Clemente will be aimed at far greater races than the Class 4 novice stakes he won at Sandown on Thursday, with Royal Ascot and even Longchamp on the agenda.

John and Thady Gosden's Dubawi colt justified odds-on favouritism to beat Kim Bailey's dual purpose runner Ajero over a mile and two furlongs in Surrey and now heads to the King Edward VII Stakes at Ascot.

Subastar proved a notable non-runner, leaving three-year-old colt Francesco Clemente to comfortably win the race on good to firm ground under Frankie Dettori.

As well as the King Edward VII Stakes Royal Ascot entry, the Peter Brant owned charge has been chalked up for the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, highlighting the faith that Gosden has in Francesco Clemente.

John Gosden said: "He is a big boy and has done a lot of growing. He is still learning about life and has a big frame to fill out. He stepped up from the Wood Ditton and a couple of older horses made him race there. They haven't gone much of a pace and Frankie says he is still a little bit clueless.

"We will see where we go and make plans. He is out of novices now.

"We were planning to run a bit earlier, but Frankie says he is still very green. It turned into a bit of a dash but he is learning all the time."

He added: "Frankie taught him a lot today. We will obviously be happy over a mile and a quarter to a mile and a half. The family strongly says a mile and a half on the dam's side."

When asked about the inevitability or running in the King Edward VII Stakes at Ascot for which Francesco Clemente is entered, Gosden added: "Not necessarily. It is early. We'll take one step at a time. We'll see how the race shapes up, see how the horse is over the next few days and take it from there.

"He got put in some bold stuff, some big races, but he is a big frame of a horse and still needs to fill out a bit more. I like him, but he is very immature and he didn't race at two. We need to take normal steps not huge ones."

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