James Fanshawe’s Fresh will bid for back-to-back victories in the Moet & Chandon International Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
The six-year-old was a short-head winner of the contest last season and is something of an Ascot specialist having been successful there three times and placed on several occasions.
His last run came in the Wokingham at the Royal meeting in June, a race he finished second in in 2021 and this time was the fifth-placed horse when beaten two lengths in a field of 27.
That run has persuaded connections to bid for an International Stakes title defence after the gelding disappointed when 19th in the Victoria Cup earlier in the season.
“He’s very well, he’s had this race as a target as he likes it there and he ran very well there last time,” said Fanshawe.
“He needs a lot of things to go right, but we’ve targeted it and he seems to really love the track there.
Of why the Fresh likes the course so much, Fanshawe added: “I don’t know, some horses just really do like the straight track at Ascot and he’s one of them fortunately!
“In the Wokingham he was just drawn on the inside, he ran really well and was finishing well. He was one that came from a long way back and ran very well.
“He won the International last year so it was the obvious race, the main thing after the Ascot run was that he’d gone well as he was a bit disappointing the time before.
“I’m really pleased with him and he seems in good form.”