There is an international flavour to the Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, with American raider Classic Causeway one the 15 entries for the one-mile feature.
Trained by Kenny McPeek, the four-year-old will be dropping back in both trip and class for the Group Two event having been well held when taking part in a high-class renewal of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Following that run at the summer showpiece, where Classic Causeway finished 18 lengths adrift of the winner Mostahdaf, connections made the decision to keep the son of Giant’s Causeway in the UK in the hope of easier assignments.
And McPeek is optimistic last year’s Belmont Derby hero can show his true colours when he tackles the straight mile, with all the action live on Sky Sports Racing.
He said: “He might have a couple more runs. We came a long way and we realised the race at Royal Ascot he ran in was extremely difficult, but this is a step down and we will see how he competes at this level.
“We’re going to leave him over there for what I hope will be an extended period. Its a bit of an adventure for an American trainer, but it’s all good.
“He’s based at Charlie Fellowes’ in Newmarket. He’s done well over there and he’s a happy horse and an easy horse to be around and I think he’ll like the drop back in trip a lot.
“It doesn’t get any tougher than the Prince of Wales’s competition and we’re optimistic that in this little easier spot he will get the chance to make amends.”
There could be further foreign interest with German handler Peter Schiergen engaging Calif, while Mutakayyef and Beat The Bank have both been repeat winners in the past 10 years and Richard Hannon’s defending champion Chindit could attempt to join them in going back-to-back.
William Haggas has won this three times and could saddle both Aldaary and Al Mubhir, while Royal Hunt Cup winner Jimi Hendrix is given the chance to prove himself in Group company following his success at the Royal meeting.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Regal Reality won the Diomed Stakes on Derby day and is another name to note, with one-time 2000 Guineas runner-up Master Of The Seas one of two for Charlie Appleby alongside stablemate New Kingdom.