Rare runner for Gigginstown as Elliott confirms Royal Ascot plans

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Rare runner for Gigginstown as Elliott confirms Royal Ascot plans

Gigginstown House Stud are set to have a runner at this year’s Royal Ascot after trainer Gordon Elliott confirmed Mengli Khan will line up in the Ascot Stakes.

The Michael O’Leary-owned stud, who shocked the racing world earlier this year when he announced plans to wind down the operation over the next few years, will try to add a Royal success to their illustrious roll of honour in the marathon contest.

Mengli Khan, who is a Grade One winner over hurdles and had a busy season over fences last winter, will be Gigginstown’s second-ever runner at the Royal meeting after Midnight Oil finished 10th in the 2013 Ascot Stakes.

Elliott may field as many as three runners in the contest, while the popular veteran Pallasator will bid to retain his crown in the Queen Alexandra Stakes.

The 10-year-old will be bidding to become the first back-to-back winner of the race since the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Cover Up won the 2002 and 2003 renewals.

‘Pallasator is going back for the Queen Alexandra and we have a few possibles for the Ascot Stakes,’ the County Meath-based handler said.

He added: ‘We are looking at running Mengli Khan, Batts Rock and Lethal Steps in the Ascot Stakes.

‘ Mengli Khan did start his career on the flat in the UK, winning two of his seven starts on the level for Hugo Palmer before switching to Elliott in late 2016.

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