Keatley star London Icon a doubt for Ascot with Hong Kong move imminent

Adrian Keatley's Royal Ascot dreams for recent emphatic Navan winner London Icon are on hold as his promising three-year-old could be switched to be trained in Hong Kong rather than take up his engagement in the St James's Palace or Jersey Stakes.

There was a real star quality about the Elzaam colt's victory at the Meath venue last month, when he bolted up by four and a half lengths in a mile conditions race, but Keatley's 103-rated colt could depart for an Asian adventure for his Hong Kong-based owner Simon Kwok.

Keatley told the Racing Post: "Whether he's going to Ascot or not we're still unsure. The owner hasn't made up his mind yet.

"The plan is for him to go to Hong Kong and if he's going to be with me it's likely that it'll only be for one more run. When London Icon was sold that was the deal. I'd say it'll be soon that he goes." 

World-class international rider Gerald Mosse has been on board London Icon in his last two starts and Keatley is happy to have the 51-year-old jockey on his side.

"Gerald was originally linked with the owner and he's now come over a few times to us and we've struck up a good working relationship. London Icon has come out of the race well and I'm hoping we can travel to Ascot with him.

"I was delighted with how he performed at Navan and Gerard was impressed. He had everything his own way and enjoyed the ease in the top of the ground."

Elaborating on potential concerns regarding a fast Berkshire surface, Keatley noted: "It was well watered and then they got a good shower of rain that day, so there was plenty of ease. We can't blame the ground for his Naas performance the time before but it leaves us a little unsure.

"He moves well enough to compete on good ground but whether he's fully effective on it is a question mark."