The high-class Nostrum bids to get back to winning ways in the Sky Bet And Symphony Group Strensall Stakes at York on Saturday.
Sir Michael Stoute’s talented son of Kingman has won three of his five career starts and having missed the first half of his three-year-old campaign through a setback, returned in imperious fashion in the Sir Henry Cecil Stakes at Newmarket.
However, things did not go to plan at Goodwood in the Thoroughbred Stakes, with Nostrum struggling to pick up with his usual zest in the testing ground and having to settle for a length defeat behind Epictetus.
With conditions set to be much more in the colt’s favour on the Knavesmire, connections are hoping to see their exciting prospect bounce right back to his best in a contest the Freemason Lodge handler has won twice since 2017.
“He’s in good form, obviously it didn’t work out for him the last day but he came out of the race very well,” said Barry Mahon, European racing manager for owners Juddmonte.
“We think he’ll have come forward for the run and we’re looking forward to getting him back on a better surface and a more conventional track.
“Hopefully we’ll see the Nostrum we saw at Newmarket again.
“We all called it wrong, we thought he’d have liked the ground the last day as he’s a big horse and he bends his knee a bit.
“We were all wrong and Ryan (Moore) just felt that he couldn’t pull himself out of it, it was gluey.
“There was the factor too that he’d been off the track for so long, there may have been a bounce on his second start – we don’t know but he’s training well and we’re looking forward to seeing him.”
Owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum finished second in this 12 months ago and will attempt to go one better with El Drama, who was beaten only a neck on his first start for Karl Burke in Haydock’s Rose of Lancaster Stakes.
The Spigot Lodge team are also represented by Flight Plan who has shown glimpses of real ability this term and was a also a runner-up when last sighted.
Jimi Hendrix’s Royal Hunt Cup victory earnt himself a step up to Group Two company for the Summer Mile earlier in the season and he has been given another chance to thrive in Pattern company at a track handler Ralph Beckett believes will suit.
He said: “He’s in good form. I felt it was a little bit too quick for him back after Ascot. In retrospect the Summer Mile was quite hard on him.
“I think the nature of this race will set up well for him. I think the flat track will suit him well, he’s not so good on the undulations.”
Five go to post for this Group Three event with Richard Fahey’s hat-trick-seeking Spirit Dancer and Charlie Johnston’s Ganton Stakes scorer Chichester completing the line-up and both bringing smart course form to the table.