Limato out to silence critics with former partner James Doyle

Owner Paul Jacobs believes James Doyle’s Ascot experience could help turn the tide for Limato in Tuesday’s Queen Anne Stakes.

The six-year-old has struggled in his three outings over a mile under Harry Bentley, most recently when finishing tenth in the Lockinge at Newbury.

Doyle partnered Limato to a second-place finish in the Commonwealth Cup at Ascot in 2015, and prior to that won three times on him in as many runs, a winning streak Jacobs hopes can be revived next week.

“James had the ride initially and we had to move on because he had a full-time Godolphin retainer and was riding a lot for Saeed bin Suroor, so we knew he'd be unavailable,” he said on Sunday.

“The circumstances have now changed and therefore he seemed the sensible option.

"The horse has run twice at Ascot with James on board, so he knows the horse historically and has been successful in those runs, which is so critical in a Group 1 at this meeting.”

This may or may not be Limato’s final outing at a mile, as Jacobs added: “We want to see definitively whether or not he stays when all circumstances are favourable.

"We know he stays seven furlongs. It's a test to see if he can stay the extra one at Ascot with its uphill finish – it’s an opportunity we think we should take.”

The Henry Candy-trained Limato is a 16-1 chance for the Royal Ascot opener, in which Clive Cox will saddle Zonderland.

A couple of reverses at Salisbury on Sunday meant Clive Cox has had 25 runners since his yard enjoyed a winner, although he does have a chance to change that at Nottingham and Windsor on Monday night, and Cox is unconcerned.

“I'm happy with all the horses we'll be taking to Royal Ascot and go there full of expectation," he said. "We have been running the ones who are not good enough to go to the meeting."

Cox's flagship runner at the royal jamboree is Harry Angel, favourite for the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes on Saturday.