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Punters keen to stick with Velvet

Jockey Mitchell Pateman expects the drop back in distance will suit The Velvet King in the Listed Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic (1400m) at Ascot tomorrow.

The Velvet King crossed from barrier 13 to sit on a hot speed and fought on well to run fifth to Arcadia Queen in the WA Guineas (1600m).

The Darren McAuliffe-trained three-year-old was a brilliant winner of the Fairetha Stakes (1400m) first-up this campaign.

Pateman is confident The Velvet King, a winner at three of five starts, will be hard to beat tomorrow.

“It was a hard-run mile in the Guineas and back to 1400 should suit him,” Pateman said.

“He should get to the front and dictate and be hard to beat.

“His work on Tuesday morning was very good. He’s ticked all the boxes since his last run.

“He’s always shown a lot of promise and his win first-up at 1400 was good.”

The Velvet King, drawn ideally in barrier three, is the $2.75 favourite with TABtouch.

McAuliffe is chasing his second straight win in the Lee-Steere Classic after War Room won last year.

Darren Weir’s colt Junipal and Festival Miss share second favouritism at $4.60.

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