Mick Appleby is “pretty confident” Big Evs can lower the colours of Kylian in a good renewal of the Jaeger-Lecoultre Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood on Wednesday.
Winner of the 23-runner Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot on his last run, the son of Blue Point will be tackling easy ground for the first time and Jason Hart’s mount is drawn on the wing in stall eight.
“He’s in good order. I think we have got a decent enough draw and we should be going there with a very good chance,” said Appleby.
“I think he will be OK on the ground, as long as it doesn’t go heavy. You’d think he’d be OK on good to soft ground and the dam won on soft ground, so hopefully he should be all right.”
Big Evs and the Karl Burke-trained Kylian dominate the market for the five-furlong Group Two contest.
The latter is more experienced with four runs under his belt and was a scintillating six-length winner of the Listed Dragon Stakes at Sandown on his last run.
“Obviously we have Kylian to beat,” admitted Appleby. “It is a great race, but we’d go there pretty confident and he should have a good chance.
“Should all go well, we’ll probably go for the Gimcrack (at York) next – that’s most obvious one for him, I should have thought.”
Ryan Moore maintains his partnership with Kylian, who is bidding for a hat-trick, having previously won on the all-weather at Newcastle.
“I sat on him for the first time at Sandown last month and you had to be very impressed by the manner in which he picked up after I switched him to the outside after a rail run clearly didn’t materialise,” Moore reported on his Betfair blog.
“Big Evs is probably the one to beat, but this horse isn’t far behind him form-wise after what he did at Sandown, though both horses are unproven on soft ground and that is the question mark.”
Richard Hannon is equally hopeful that Baheer, an easy winner of a Newbury novice over six furlongs, can handle the ground and a drop back in trip.
He said: “He is in great form. He’s very quick and has easily got the speed for five (furlongs) no problem.
“The ground is an unknown quantity, but Mehmas liked it. I think he’d have a great chance as well.”
The other Group Two contest on the card is the seven-furlong Whispering Angel Oak Tree Stakes, which has attracted a field of 16 fillies.
John Quinn saddles Breege, who was pitched into Group One company in the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh on her seasonal debut, where she finished seventh to Tahiyra.
She then was beaten a length by Coppice in the Sandringham at Royal Ascot, so drops back in trip to a course and distance she handled well when a narrow runner-up in a Group Three last August.
“We’re happy with her,” said Quinn. “She ran very well at Ascot and we tried to run her at Sandown (in the Coral Distaff), but we just couldn’t run her – it wasn’t a lot, I just couldn’t run her.
“We have been thinking about this race because we thought the conditions might suit her. She ran here as a two-year-old over seven furlongs and she handled the track well.
“She is a big, strong mare and, with a bit of ease in the ground, she’ll go on that.
“She is not slow. She won over five and a half (furlongs) as a two-year-old and was placed in the Princess Margaret. She is a quality filly, so let’s hope she runs well in a tough race.
“She is drawn in stall three, which is grand. I’d rather be three than 13. I’m glad she got drawn there, because over seven furlongs, if you are drawn out a long way, it is difficult.”
White Moonlight is the sole last-time-out winner in the field and she bids for a hat-trick for Saeed bin Suroor, following a pair of Listed successes at Musselburgh and on the all-weather at Chelmsford, both over the same seven-furlong trip.
“She won well at Chelmsford, “ said the Godolphin handler. “She came back from that well and worked nicely. Definitely she is in good form.
“She won at Musselburgh on good to firm ground, but maybe the ground conditions will be good for her. It will be nearer soft ground.
“We’ll see, we’ll have a look, but she has won on easier ground in the past as a two-year-old.”