Sir Michael Stoute openly admitted he’d need to have a serious rethink about where his leading stayer Telescope goes next after a poor showing in the Hardwicke Stakes on the fifth and final day of the Royal Ascot Carnival.

Stoute had earmarked the horse as a Melbourne Cup hope but, the flop has left him scratching his head.

Stoute had 3 runners in the Hardwicke but it was the less fancied Snow Sky would bolted in, leading all the way to do so.

The trainer, who ran three in the race, said: ‘I thought (sixth-placed) Telescope was my best chance but Ryan said he ground was too quick.’

‘I was thinking he was a Melbourne Cup horse but were might have to have a re-think is programme. I knew Snow Sky would run well – he has been in great form at home – but I am surprised by the way he did it.

‘That is the best race he has run by a long way. This week has not been a success but you have to look forward in this game otherwise it will kill you.