Trainer John Moore has confirmed that Able Friend will make the trip to Royal Ascot for the 2015 Queen Anne Stakes on June 17.
Able Friend recorded his sixth straight victory when he cruised to an effortless win in the Group 1 Champions Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on May 3, but Moore waited until last night to confirm that the Shamardal gelding would make the trip to England for what could be the toughest test of his racing career to date.
“I’m going in very open minded,” Moore told The South China Morning Post.
“We are taking on the cream of the crop on the world stage.
“This is our intention, to take on the very best, but we aren’t going in thinking the result is a foregone conclusion.
“We don’t take on these horses lightly, but I have a dream of winning another Group One offshore, especially at Royal Ascot.
“I have been there as a spectator many times and I think I have the horse to do the job, but this is the world stage and we are tackling them on their home turf.”
Able Friend made his racing debut under the care of Team Hawkes in Australia in November of 2012 and he was sent to Hong Kong after he took out the Pipemakers Australia Handicap (1350m) at Wyong on November 22.
The talented gelding started his Hong Kong racing career with three wins from his first four starts and he made his Group 1 debut with a narrow victory over Designs On Rome in the Group 1 Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on January 19 last year.
Able Friend suffered back-to-back defeats to Designs On Rome in both the Group 1 Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) and the Group 1 Hong Kong Derby (2000m) before he returned to winning form in the Group 2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m), but was beaten by Variety Club in the Group 1 The Champions Mile (1600m).
The five-year-old started his current racing preparation with a credible fourth in the Group 2 The Premier Bowl (1200m) on October 26 and he has since go on to record impressive victories in the Group 2 Jockey Club Mile (1600m), Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m), Group 1 Stewards Cup (1600m), Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m), Group 2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) and the Champions Mile.
Able Friend is currently available at 2015 Queen Anne Stakes odds of $3 and is currently locked in a battle for favouritism with Dubai Turf winner Solow.