Connections of Facteur Cheval are eager to see more rainfall at Ascot ahead of his tilt at the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Qipco British Champions Day.
Jerome Reynier’s ultra-consistent performer is yet to finish outside the first three in five outings this term, beaten less than two lengths on each occasion, with his last three appearances coming at Group One level.
The Facteur Cheval team are looking forward to another crack at Paddington having been short of room when second to Aidan O’Brien’s prolific winner in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
“It’s the plan and he could run on any type of surface, but he’s better with some give in the ground and the wetter the better, like when he won the Prix Perth at Saint-Cloud,” said Barry Irwin, CEO of Team Valor, who own the horse in partnership with Gary Barber.
“We have skipped some other races he could have run in waiting for the race next weekend figuring it would be really wet again.”
If the ground is quicker than Facteur Cheval ideally likes, connections will use it as a guide to next year.
Irwin added: “I think at this point we’re looking at it as much, if not more, as a test to see how he handles that (quicker) going at this point of his life, as our goal next year is the Dubai Turf. This will be a good test to see how he handles that type of track.
“That mile up the straight at Ascot is more like a mile and eighth and that’s the distance of the Dubai Turf.
“That’s what we’re looking at and whether we are going to have a big impact on this race now – and unless we get lucky and the ground turns very soft – that is something we’re a bit concerned about obviously.”