William Buick will partner Time Lock for the first time this season in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot.
Narrowly beaten by fellow Juddmonte-owned filly Haskoy in the Galtres Stakes at York last year, the daughter of Frankel was beaten on her first four starts of the current campaign before registering a confidence-boosting Listed success in France last month.
That teed Time Lock up for the Group Three Princess Royal Stakes at Newmarket two weeks ago and she again impressed under Ryan Moore, to leave connections eyeing up a tilt at Group One glory on Qipco British Champions Day.
Harry Charlton, who trains the four-year-old in partnership with his father, Roger, said: “Time Lock is in good form and the Ascot race looks the obvious race for her to run in.
“As long as the Juddmonte team are happy and the filly is in good form then we’ll look to run her there and William Buick will ride her.
“William rode her twice last year, he rode her at Haydock and was second on her in the Galtres, and he’s been saying all year if there was ever a chance he’d love to ride her again.
“Charlie (Appleby) hasn’t got a runner in the Ascot race and Ryan Moore, who rode Time Lock last time, will ride one of Aidan O’Brien’s, I assume, so that’s really the reasoning.”
Charlton feels a combination of boosted confidence and the prevailing ground conditions at Newmarket contributed to her uplift in form.
He added: “The race she won in France was not a strong one, but she won it well and it might have just given her a little bit of confidence.
“More than anything, we ran on very quick ground at Haydock twice earlier in the year and then very soft ground at Goodwood. I think in the middle ground, like she got at Newmarket the other day, probably suited her on a nice, galloping track like that.”
Last weekend the Charlton team came mighty close to landing the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket, with ante-post favourite Greek Order beaten half a length by Astro King in the prestigious handicap.
The three-year-old son of Kingman could return to the Rowley Mile next month in a bid to go one better.
“He’s come out of the race great. He didn’t win, but he ran a super race and we couldn’t be happier with him really,” said Charlton.
“We were under no illusions that because he went off such a short price (5-2) it was sort of assumed that he would win, but we all know winning 35-runner handicaps is not that easy and there are plenty of variables at play.
“We would have loved some rain and it didn’t come, but we’re proud of him and it’s onwards and upwards from here.
“If he’s OK and as long as Prince Khalid’s family are happy, we’ll have a look at running him in the James Seymour Stakes at Newmarket on November 4. It’s a Listed race over 10 furlongs, which is probably more his trip, and the ground might be a little softer by then as well.
“It was the quickest ground he’s run on in the Cambridgeshire and he obviously handled it, but we think he might be a little bit better with some cut.”