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Posted 2018-05-18 13:41:28  
Smart Call Could Return to Royal Ascot in 2018


South African-bred Smart Call could return to Royal Ascot in 2018 with trainer Sir Michael Stoute hoping his six-year-old can improve upon her fourth-place finish last year. She has previously achieved success in Group One company at Kenilworth and is considered to be one of the country's classiest thoroughbreds. A second visit to the Berkshire track in June looks a real possibility as she gears up for a busy summer in the UK.

The Jessica Slack owned mare produced a cracking effort in the Dante festival race yesterday when third in the Middleton Stakes Group 2 to the smart Coronet. She was only beaten by under 3 lengths and is in prime form for her next event. 

"She pulled up great and the jockey was happy. Stoute said she jumped a little slow but ran well and just got a bit tired at the finish. As far as I am aware, she has pulled up well and everyone is happy," Slack told

The Newmarket trainer arrived at Royal Ascot last year seeking his 76th winner at the meeting and Smart Call was generally viewed as one of his best chances on the card. The 72-year-old has enjoyed unprecedented success at the track but his South-African-trained mare wasn't able to oblige, finishing fourth in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes behind Qemah. She did finish ahead of Same Jurisdiction, who is trained by Ed Dunlop and was also bred in South Africa.

The prestigious event is one of the most anticipated meetings on the racing calendar in the UK and hosts 13 Group One contests across the five days. Many sports fans are already making their predictions for Royal Ascot 2018 which gets underway on June 19th. Many trainers will send their thoroughbreds over from Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and the USA as they bid to get their hands on a share of the lucrative prize money, which currently stands at £13.45 million.

Big fields and competitive contests make it an extremely tricky five days for punters but you can find Ascot tips at RacingTips. reliable tipsters with a solid record will make their selections for each of the five days and help narrow down the field. The festival starts with the Group One Queen Anne Stakes and the hugely competitive Diamond Jubilee Stakes helps bring an end to proceedings on the Saturday. Other notable contests staged during the five days include the King Stands Stakes, the St. James' Palace Stakes, Ascot Gold Cup and the Prince of Wales's Stakes.

Smart Call had her first run of the season on April 7th when featuring in the Snowdrop Fillies' Stakes at Kempton and despite starting as co-favorite for the listed race, she could only come seventh. Being drawn on the outside didn't help matters, although, it was a credible performance considering she was returning from a 118-day break. Her previous appearance came at Sha Tin where she also finished a close seventh behind Highland Reel in the Hong Kong Vase.

She remains winless since moving to the Sir Michael Stoute yard, although, a number of eye-catching performances have seen her go close on many occasions and her first victory for the stable is unlikely to be far away. The trainer described Smart Call as having "wintered well" and is confident of her chances of success this summer.

It remains to be seen whether the South African-trained six-year-old will grace the Ascot turf once again this summer but connections are believed to be keen on a return trip to Berkshire. She remains without a win in the UK but clearly has enough talent to compete on the biggest stage and there are a number of possibilities for her this summer.

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