Zoulu Chief has the chance to land a valuable prize at Newmarket on Saturday when bidding for a hat-trick in the £150,000 Tattersalls October Auction Stakes.
Heather Main’s youngster has been in destructive form this summer, winning a pair of competitive nursery handicaps in devastating fashion from the front.
The handler was keen to test the strong-travelling front-runner in Group company following the second of his victories at York but that plan was thwarted by wet conditions throughout September.
As a result, the Zoustar colt and regular pilot Gina Mangan now get the opportunity go in search of the £81,165 first prize on the Rowley Mile, with Main keen to get her charge back on track having not been seen for 45 days.
“He’s ready to run again and we’re excited to get him out again,” said Main.
“We’ve had this race in sight for a while since we bought him and I think it will suit him nicely.
“I really wanted to run him in the Mill Reef or the Flying Childers at Doncaster but the ground went against him which was frustrating. Hopefully it will hold out until Saturday for him.”
Zoulu Chief has made his mark when allowed to bowl along in explosive fashion and Main sees no reason to change proven tactics now.
She added: “It’s how he likes to race so I think it will be the usual.”
Tom Ward’s Woodhay Wonder secured over £50,000 when winning a similar contest on the July course in late August and has been held back by his handler for a tilt at further riches in this event.
The daughter of Tamayuz was a respectable third in the Group Two Duchess of Cambridge Stakes before that and her touch of class could come to the fore once again.
“She’s a nice filly and I think she has come on a bit from her last win at Newmarket,” said Ward.
“She’s fresh and well and I have kept her fresh for this race having got some black type with her earlier in the year.
“She’s got plenty of size and scope about her so hopefully she will be a nice filly next season as well, but we’ll have this last run and then put her away. She’s a nice type and I hope she will run a nice race.
“She’s already picked up one of these races and hopefully will run well and go close again on Saturday.”
Amy Murphy’s Dubai Hills (fourth), Richard Hannon’s Commander Crouch (fifth) and Karl Burke’s Cuban Slide (seventh) all finished behind Woodhay Wonder in August, as did James Ferguson’s Drama who finished 11th.
However, the latter is backed to improve on that effort this time by his handler.
Ferguson said: “Things didn’t go to plan for Drama last time at Newmarket.
“I still have plenty of confidence in the horse. His work has been impressive, and you cannot shy away from a challenge with this sort of prize money on offer.”