Horse Racing: George Washington on track to return in Celebration Mile.
PLANS for George Washington are likely to be reviewed next week, with a return to action in the Celebration Mile at Goodwood now looking on the cards for the 2,000 Guineas winner, who has not run since suffering a serious setback in May.
The possibility of the colt being supplemented this morning to Sunday's Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown had been mentioned by trainer Aidan O'Brien, but yesterday it emerged that the star three-year-old is not yet quite ready for a racecourse return.
O'Brien said: "It looks as if George will need another week and it's now most likely that he'll go to Goodwood at the end of the month instead of Leopardstown on Sunday.
"He did have quite a severe injury, and while he's been coming along gradually, it looks as if he will need at least another week. He did a halfspeed this morning."
George Washington has the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot next month as a target and, because of Kieren Fallon's ban from riding in Britain, running him at Goodwood would enable whichever jockey is chosen to ride him in a race in advance of the Ascot contest.
Scorpion, winner of the St Leger a year ago, is still some way off making a belated reappearance.
O'Brien said: "Scorpion has been a long time off after splitting a pastern on a hind leg. He's back in work and is going okay. It will be a question of just how much time he'll need before being ready to return. Hopefully, that will be before the end of the season, but it's too early to say."
Also on the way back from injury is Rumplestiltskin, a dual Group 1 winner last season, who has not run since finishing seventh in the 1,000 Guineas.
O'Brien said: "Rumplestiltskin is just back in training. She's going to take more time than Scorpion and it remains to be seen whether she'll make it back. We play things by ear with her."
DERBY winner Sir Percy will have his preparation for an autumn target stepped up a gear this week.
The son of Mark Of Esteem has not been seen in racecourse action since his dramatic short-head victory over Dragon Dancer at Epsom on June 3.
He got jarred up in that race but trainer Marcus Tregoning has given him plenty of time to recover and has expressed his satisfaction with the colt's progress. He said: "He's very well. I'm very happy with him and he'll start his work in earnest towards the end of the week. He's doing very well and looks an absolute picture.
"He's put weight on, but not too much, just right. He'll have a racecourse spin somewhere - maybe two even - but he'll be ready when he goes, that's for certain."
Sir Percy is being aimed at either the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, or the Champion Stakes at Newmarket.
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|Publication:||The Racing Post (London, England)|
|Date:||Aug 15, 2006|
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