07/23/2009 12:00AM

Conduit back to his best distance


Conduit will step back up to 1 1/2 miles for the first time since his victory in the Breeders' Cup Turf when he heads the $1.6 million King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Two tries at 1 1/4 miles at Sandown Park this season have resulted in losses for Conduit, a son of Dalakhani trained by Michael Stoute. On May 28 he was nosed at the wire in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes by the Arlington Million-bound Cima de Triomphe. On July 4, he was 5 1/2 lengths third behind Sea the Stars and Rip Van Winkle in the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes. Twelve furlongs is much more up Conduit's alley, and Ryan Moore, who had his pick of the three Stoute runners in the field, has stuck with him.

Michael Kinane replaces Moore on a second Stoute entry, Tartan Bearer. A 4-year-old son of Spectrum, he won the 1 1/4-mile, Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown in April and was a hard-fought second to Vision d'Etat last time over the same distance in the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot. A half-length runner-up to New Approach in last year's Epsom Derby, Tartan Bearer should also appreciate the added distance of the King George.

Ask, winner of the 1 1/2-mile, Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom for Stoute on June 5, won the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes over the course and distance in 2007 and picks up the invaluable services of big-race specialist Olivier Peslier.

Golden Sword is the best of the three Aidan O'Brien-trained entrants. The winner of the Group 3 Chester Vase, he was, however, a distant second to stablemate Fame and Glory in the Irish Derby last time, form that falls short of all three of Stoute's runners. Frozen Fire was only seventh when Conduit won the St. Leger Stakes and was fifth behind Ask in the Coronation Cup. Rockhampton will be employed as the Ballydoyle rabbit.

Last year's English Oaks winner, Look Here, beaten into third by just two noses in the Coronation Cup, was a length third behind Dar Re Mi in the 1 1/4-mile, Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes. A 4-year-old daughter of Hernando, she will be running for just seventh time in her life and much prefers 1 1/2 miles.

Alwaary is a warm longshot. A Dynaformer 3-year-old, he was an unlucky second by a neck against older horses in the 1 1/2-mile, Group 2 Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket on July 9 and is in line for an upset. Trainer John Gosden, however, was not to make a final decision about Alwaary's participation until Friday.

Britain's midsummer centerpiece, the King George lost some of its luster when the Epsom Derby winner Sea the Stars and the Irish Derby winner Fame and Glory passed on it, while Youmzain, third and second in the last two runnings, suffered a minor setback last week that has forced him to miss the race.

York: Tazeez in Million prep

Possible clues to the Arlington Million will be on view at York on Saturday when Tazeez takes on eight rivals in the Group 2, $164,000 York Stakes at 1 1/4 miles, 88 yards. Named as a possible Million runner by John Gosden, Tazeez won the 1 1/8-mile, Group 3 Earl of Sefton Stakes on April 16 and was 4 1/4 lengths fifth in the Prince of Wales. He is the third choice behind Godolphin's recent listed race winner Kirklees and the Luca Cumani-trained Curtain Call, who won the 1 1/4-mile, Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes in May. The Walter Swinburn-trained Stotsfold was withdrawn from the York because of the softish ground and will head straight to Arlington for the Million.

Meanwhile, Godolphin will send Gladiatorus, 3 1/4-length winner of the Dubai Duty Free, to the Million after dropping him from the entries for the one-mile Sussex Stakes, which will be run next Wednesday at Goodwood.