06/02/2003 11:00PM

Stevens to ride at Ascot again


Gary Stevens will return to Royal Ascot to ride Morluc in the Golden Jubilee Stakes on June 21.

Stevens, who had two winners at the Royal meeting in 1999 when he rode first-string for trainer Michael Stoute for much of the year, will arrive in England on June 12. The trip is something of a working holiday, as Stevens will first travel to Doncaster in Yorkshire with his wife, Nicola, for a visit with her family. Stevens will then be at Ascot for the first day of the five-day Royal meeting on Tuesday, June 17.

With the film "Seabiscuit," to be released this summer, the presence of Stevens the actor (he portrays jockey George Woolf in the film) at Royal Ascot will be a built-in promotion for the film in England, but British racegoers need no introduction to Stevens the jockey. At Royal Ascot in 1998, he rode Predappio to win the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes. A year later he rode Cape Cross to win the Group 2 Queen Anne Stakes and Blueprint to win the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap. Those were two of 45 winners Stevens rode from just 210 mounts in Britain in 1999.

Morluc, trained by Randy Morse, proved himself adept over the straight five-furlong course at Sha Tin when he was the narrow runner-up in the Hong Kong Sprint in 2000 and 2001. In the straight Golden Jubilee, he will be going six furlongs for the first time since taking the Kentucky Cup Turf Dash in September 2000.