Kikkuli backed to strike after Deauville outing

Frankel’s half-brother could finish only sixth in Sunday’s Prix Jean Prat.

Connections of Kikkuli are confident the impeccably-bred colt will have his day in the sun before the season is out after coming up short in the Prix Jean Prat at Deauville on Sunday.

A half-brother to the great Frankel, the Kingman colt came close to claiming Royal Ascot success on his penultimate start when charging home to get within a short head of the dual Guineas-placed Haatem in the Jersey Stakes.

On the strength of that form, Harry Charlton’s youngster travelled to France for his first foray into Group One company as a major contender – and while he could only finish sixth in the hands of Ryan Moore, there is optimism within his camp that better days are ahead.

“He was only beaten four lengths in the end and I think it was an OK run,” said Barry Mahon, racing manager to owner-breeder Juddmonte.

“In fairness he got quite a hefty bump mid-race, Ryan said it just set him alight and he pulled like a train for two furlongs in the middle of the race and that probably cost him at the end of the race.

“He’s done a lot in a short space of time and Ryan was very complimentary – he said there’s a good horse in there. He’s just immature and it hasn’t quite happened yet, but it will happen and that experience will have brought him forward.

“I think he’ll have a little freshen up now as he’s obviously had two hard runs in the space of two weeks. I think he’ll have a little freshen up for the rest of July and we’ll see what there is for him in August.”

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