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Kerdos lunges to Temple Stakes success

Much of the attention in the five-furlong Group Two was focused on Australian challenger Asfoora, who was sent off the 4-1 joint-favourite on her British bow, but it was Clive Cox’s charge who prevailed.

Last year’s Nunthorpe hero Live In The Dream blazed an early trail on his seasonal bow and he looked like fending off all challengers as he entered the final furlong still in the lead.

However, Richard Kingscote was just hitting top gear on 12-1 shot Kerdos and he edged half a length ahead at the line, with Seven Questions grabbing third and Asfoora having to settle for fourth.

Coral cut Kerdos to 10-1 from 20s for the King Charles III Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Kingscote said: “We thought he’d improved from last year and we also thought he was better than he’d shown this year.

“I got a nice lead into it, through the first furlong I wanted a bit of cover but once I did he dropped his head nicely.

“There’s still things we can work with on him, but he’s a nice horse going forward. He’s the type of horse Clive does really well with.”

Part-owner Alan Spence said: “It’s the third time we’ve won this race as we won with his sire, Profitable and also with Priceless so we’ve had three Temple Stakes winners, all with Clive which takes a bit of doing.

“The faster they are, the better Clive likes them!

“We were a bit worried about the ground today but they haven’t used the straight course and it’s not as heavy, if anything it’s only soft.

“It looked like he took a bit of getting going today but I think that is because the other one (Live In The Dream) goes so fast, but once he was settled we were there.

“Royal Ascot is the plan, it was before today.”

Adam West was more than satisfied with Live In The Dream’s first run since finishing fourth at the Breeders’ Cup meeting back in November.

He said: “That couldn’t have gone better. He missed the break by half a beat today and I think that was because the horse next to him was playing up.

“He’s done everything I wanted to see today and he’s having a nice blow – I think he’s going to be a superstar this year.

“All the others had had runs, fair play the winner is nice and has been produced brilliantly but knowing what he has left in the tank for next time, we’ve avoided a penalty so we couldn’t have asked for more.

“We’re not going to Ascot, it’s too stiff a track for him, so we’re going for the Coral Charge at Sandown – that’s always been the plan and it’s a our home track. He can get some confidence there before he heads for bigger things but I’m absolutely delighted.”

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