Al Aasy bids to continue his resurgence in the Betfred Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock on Saturday.
The William Haggas-trained six-year-old has suffered a few bumps in the roaf since pushing Pyledriver close in the 2021 Coronation Cup, but there is no doubt he is a high-class performer on his day.
He won the Buckhounds Stakes at Ascot on what proved to be his only competitive appearance last season, but was tailed off on his first start of the current campaign at Newmarket.
However, dropping back to a mile and a quarter at Newbury last month, he showed his true colours with an authoritative victory and he sticks to the shorter distance on Merseyside this weekend.
“It was great to see him come back and win like that at Newbury and this is the next step,” said Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell.
“He’s been called some names, as Jim (Crowley) alluded to after he won on him at Newbury, but he did it well that day and I see no reason why he shouldn’t run another good race.”
In the immediate aftermath of his most recent triumph Haggas suggested that maybe he had been running Al Aasy over the wrong trip, but Gold is not so sure.
He added: “I thought William was hard on himself as you can’t say that he doesn’t get a mile and a half I don’t think. He was only beaten a neck in a Coronation Cup a couple of years ago, so it would be silly to say he doesn’t stay.
“But there were people who’ve ridden the horse at home who said ‘he’s got plenty of speed this horse, try a mile and a quarter’ and that certainly didn’t stop him.
“He’s a funny old character who gets beaten as often as he wins, but he’s been a very good horse at his best, so hopefully he can continue that on Saturday.”
Charlie Appleby is looking forward to running King Of Conquest, who having struck gold in Bahrain in the winter won his first two starts back in Britain at Newmarket and Goodwood respectively.
He could finish only sixth in the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot, but Appleby hopes the application of cheekpieces might help him raise his game.
“King Of Conquest keeps progressing and has done very little wrong throughout his career. He carried a penalty at Royal Ascot but still ran a decent race,” the trainer told www.godolphin.com.
“We are applying cheek pieces to help get some more natural pace into him. It looks as though we have Al Aasy to beat but our horse certainly doesn’t look out of place at this level.”
The Sean Woods-trained Savvy Victory is out to follow up a Listed success in the Gala Stakes at Sandown, while Richard Fahey’s talented filly Midnight Mile must be respected following an impressive victory in Listed company at York.
Phantom Flight (James Horton), El Drama (Karl Burke) and American challenger Classic Causeway (Kenneth McPeek) complete the field.