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UK Bookies Make Nicconi Early Fav For Royal Ascot
English bookmakers "are taking no chances with the Aussie invaders this year & have rated David Hayes's brilliant Nicconi early favourite for the Gr1 King's Stand Stakes (5 furlongs) at Royal Ascot next month," reported The Daily Telegraph. Hayes said he was not surprised Nicconi's reputation as an outstanding straight-track 5 furlongs (1000m) horse had spread overseas, noting: "He's unbeaten 1st-up, unbeaten at 1000m & dynamic in straight races. We are going to use blinkers on Nicconi at Royal Ascot, which I believe will make him even sharper & more focused. I've never had a runner at Royal Ascot because I've waited until I had the right horse - I firmly believe Nicconi is the right horse." Meanwhile Alverta (last-start winner of the Gr1 Coolmore Classic) is also bound for Royal Ascot "but the mare is being saved for the Gr1 Golden Jubilee Stakes". Trainer Paul Messara confirmed Alverta would be sent to Melbourne on Sunday before joining Nicconi on the flight to England next week.