Racing: O'Brien has George Washington back on schedule for Ascot feature

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The Independent Online

George Washington emerged from his box at Ballydoyle yesterday morning 'a little stiff', but otherwise unscathed, after his comeback defeat behind Caradak in the Celebration Mile at Goodwood on Sunday. "He was a little stiff through his quarters," said trainer Aidan O'Brien, "but apart from that he was grand. The stiffness would be understandable, and nothing too much to worry about. It was the first time he'd been stretched at the gallop since his run in the Irish 2,000 Guineas."

The charismatic 2,000 Guineas hero had damaged quarter muscles in the Curragh Classic in May and had not run since.

He is still on course for next month's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, though he will have at least a week to recover mentally and physically from his return to action before resuming faster work.

"The Goodwood race was just a trial," added O'Brien, who sent out Rock Of Gibraltar's full-sister Nell Gwyn to win her maiden at Tralee yesterday, "and what was pleasing was that all his early pace was still there and his finish was still there, and that he was more mature in his attitude."

For the second day in succession, the focus was on a losing 5-6 favourite, rather than the Godolphin-trained winner, when Enforcer, fourth in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes last time out, flopped in a minor contest at Epsom.

The William Muir-trained four-year-old was never travelling and finished an eased-down 19-length fourth to Ashaawes after aggravating the site of the foot abscess which ruled him out of last week's York International. Ashaawes, a three-year-old by Kingmambo who holds a Champion Stakes entry, was the third leg of a 164-1 treble for Frankie Dettori and has now won three from four and earned £23,456 of the $2.85m (£1.5m) he cost as a yearling.

Chris McGrath

Nap: Good Investment (Sedgefield 3.00)

NB: Sparkling Eyes (Ripon 2.50)