William Haggas is eager to test the mettle of Tiber Flow over five furlongs, with the Chipchase Stakes hero making a quick return to action in the Coral Charge at Sandown.
The four-year-old, who won the Carnarvon Stakes at Newbury last year, scooped Group Three honours for the first time when obliging favourite-backers at Gosforth Park last Saturday.
And the pace he showed in that six-furlong event in the north east was enough to convince the Somerville Lodge handler to drop his charge back to the minimum distance at the Esher track.
“I want to try him over five, he showed a lot of speed to me up at Newcastle,” said Haggas.
“I’ve never run him over five and this is the stiffest five in the country. Yes he has a penalty, but if he waited for the Hackwood Stakes he would have a penalty in that too, so I’m going to run him and see how we get on.
“He’s a very genuine, nice horse.”
Royal Ascot form is represented by Mick Appleby’s Annaf who has been at the peak of his powers this season and finished third in the King’s Stand Stakes.
He is joined in the line-up by stablemate and depending champion Raasel, who is yet to hit the heights of his three victories last term but was also far from disgraced from a less than ideal draw in the King’s Stand.
“Annaf seems in really good order and obviously Raasel won the race last year so it would be nice if he could follow it up,” said Appleby.
“They are both in great order. They both ran well at Ascot, I was really pleased with that. Anaaf’s was a great run, but Raasel ran better than where he actually finished – it was the draw that did him, he ended up on the wing and he’s a horse that needs plenty of cover.”
Equilateral (fifth) and Marshman (seventh) were others who took part in the King’s Stand and are now dropping in class, with the former hoping for a smoother passage than when suffering a luckless run in this race 12 months ago.
The 36-race veteran is one of two in the contest for Charlie Hills along with impressive Windsor handicap winner Equality, while Marshman is also joined in the line-up by a stablemate as Karl Burke will also saddle recent Scurry Stakes scorer Lady Hamana.
Another handler with two bullets to fire at the Group Three contest is Clive Cox who is represented by Get Ahead and Diligent Harry.
Get Ahead arrives on the back of a fine start to the season and having landed the Cecil Frail at Haydock on her penultimate start, was ahead of Marshman when denied by a short head in the Prix du Gros-Chene at Chantilly last month.
“Get Ahead ran a blinder in France last time and has really come to hand,” said Cox.
“She’s a filly we have always believed in and her recent runs have confirmed that promise was well worth investing in.
“We are hoping the thunderstorms don’t get involved too much from her point of view. She would be happier without that. She is in excellent form if the conditions remain suitable.
Diligent Harry drops back in distance having failed to add to his All-Weather Championships Finals Day triumph in two starts on turf since.
“It’s a nice opportunity to run over a stiff five with him,” continued Cox.
“We did have him in the Chipchase last week, but I’m happy we have an opportunity to run over five here.
“He has run on an easier surface before in the Cammidge Trophy when he was just beaten in 2022. He is in excellent form and he’s a horse who is one of our typically pleasing sprinters and we hope he’s not too badly drawn.”
Hollie Doyle will link up with Ed Walker’s Ayr Listed winner Makarova, with Stuart Williams’ Existent completing the 11-strong field.