Kevin Ryan has pinpointed ground conditions as key for Emaraaty Ana ahead of his tilt at Ascot’s Blue Eagle Rous Stakes on Saturday.
The seven-year-old has been a consistent member of the sprinting ranks for some time, but it is over two years since what was both his last triumph and career highlight when claiming Haydock’s Group One Betfair Sprint Cup.
A brave defence of that title 12 months later and a near miss in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint rate as some of his best efforts since.
But having gone close at Listed level at both Newmarket and York recently, his handler is hoping fast ground in Berkshire can help the son of Shamardal come to the fore once again as he drops back in trip.
Ryan said: “The trip is no problem and he ran well over it at the Breeders’ Cup. It is the ground that is important to him and it’s looking like it will be good quick ground out there.
“He’s in great form and I’m looking forward to running him. He’s just a very consistent horse and has been at the top table for a long time.
“He’s run well his last few starts and we hope it will stay nice quick ground.”
Emaraaty Ana’s wealth of top-level form sees him set the standard for this Listed event, but Karl Burke’s Korker arrives on the back of a clear-cut triumph at Beverley and could take advantage of any chinks in the former’s armour.
Andrew Balding’s Nymphadora was second in a Newbury Group Three and is another heading to Ascot in good shape, while John Butler’s Designer and Eve Johnson Houghton’s Rage Of Bamby appear closely matched judged on their York one-two during the Ebor Festival.
Other Listed action on the card comes via the McGee Group British EBF October Stakes, where Ralph Beckett’s Nigiri will attempt to regain the winning thread.
The Valmont-owned three-year-old racked up three quick victories in the handicap ranks this summer before being unable to reel in Matilda Picotte in Doncaster’s Sceptre Stakes last time.
However, that run in Group Three company was arguably a career-best effort and her usual pilot Hector Crouch is looking forward to getting back in the saddle aboard the improving daughter of Lope De Vega.
He said: “Nigiri has been very good and ran a career best in the Sceptre Stakes last time.
“I felt the ground at Doncaster after four days of racing was very testing and it probably just caught her out.
“She’s won on a bit of everything but I think the ground at Doncaster was very loose, very tacky and just real specialist ground. She’s won on heavy, she’s won on good to firm, but I think she’s best on a sound surface.
“I’ve been very lucky (this season) that quite a few of Valmont’s horses have gone on a run and taken me to some nice places.”
William Haggas’ Queen Aminatu was fifth on that occasion and will be bidding to go one better than her second in this last year, while David O’Meara’s Love Interest was fourth 12 months ago and interestingly chased home Nigiri for a silver medal when last seen at Haydock.
John Quinn is also hoping that his consistent three-year-old Breege can finish the season on a high following some fine efforts in defeat this term.
He said: “She came out of Sandown well, I’m happy with her and we thought this looked like the right race for her.
“She does seem in good form so we hope she can get her head in front.”