Confirmation this morning in the UK that Kaspersky has been declared for the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday and that, as expected, Michelle Payne will take the ride.
It will be a tough ask for Kaspersky, currently trading at 66/1 in early betting markets for the race, as he lines up against 15 others, including hot favourite Ribchester who races in the Godolphin silks.
That said Michelle Payne is used to riding long shots in big races with the Australian jockey steering 101/1 shot Prince Of Penzance to victory in the Melbourne Cup.
Kaspersky is trained by Australian Jane Chapple-Hyam, who now lives and trains in the UK at Newmarket. The horse itself was formerly based in Italy where it progressed into Group company, his most notable success coming in Germany where he won a Group 2 race last July.
Since being based in the UK the son of Coolmore stallion Footstepsinthesand has run twice, once at Ascot where he was unplaced in a Listed race and he then followed that with a second place finish in a handicap at Nottingham.
The Queen Anne will be a different experience and challenge for both horse and jockey but, although her winning chance may be slim, British fans are eagerly looking forward to seeing Payne bring an extra international dimension and added glamour to the country’s premier flat racing festival.