Clive Cox is excited to head to Royal Ascot with Diligent Harry after his agonising near-miss in the 1895 Duke of York Clipper Stakes.

The six-year-old is somewhat part of the furniture at Cox’s Beechwood Stables and has arguably been better than ever this term, winning twice on his beloved all-weather earlier in the year before holding his own among the best sprinters in the world when third in Meydan’s Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night.

It looked like he might finally break his duck on turf when denied by only a neck at York last week, but far from being disappointed Cox is buoyed by the gelding’s recent form as he prepares to drop back to the minimum trip for the King Charles III Stakes on the opening day of the Royal meeting.

“He was so near and yet so far and didn’t do a whole lot wrong,” said Cox.

“It was probably a career-best really and I’m pleased to say he has come out of the race really well.

“We are very much looking forward to the King Charles III at Royal Ascot and that would be our preferred trip on a stiffer track at Ascot.

“He’s very versatile and I’m so proud he’s holding his form so well at the highest level. I think it was his best effort yet at York and we’re looking forward to Ascot.”