Quickthorn bids to put a disappointing Ascot run behind him when he goes for Group One glory in the Prix Royal-Oak at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.
The four-year-old was beaten 10 lengths by Hukum in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes after making most of the running over a mile and a half.
He had put up an amazing performance to win at Salisbury on his previous outing after losing many lengths at the start and he was only beaten a head by subsequent Irish St Leger hero Sonnyboyliston in the Ebor at York.
This will be Quickthorn’s seventh racecourse appearance since May and trainer Hughie Morrison is slightly concerned he may not be in the same kind of form as earlier in the campaign.
“He’s up against good, improving three-year-olds,” said the East Ilsley trainer.
“He slightly disappointed us last time, so we are a bit nervous he might have had enough for the year, but we’ve found no reason not to run him so we thought we’d have a go.”
Charlie Appleby’s Kemari and the Ralph Beckett-trained Scope, who took a Listed race at Ascot by seven lengths after finishing sixth in the St Leger, are two of the three-year-olds in the line-up.
Appleby is hoping Kemari can build on his second place on the Prix Chaudenay at ParisLongchamp three weeks ago.
“We have been pleased with how Kemari came out of the Prix Chaudenay, which was a step back in the right direction following his run at York. He has handled these conditions before and we are hoping he can make the first three in what looks a competitive event,” he told www.godolphin.com.
Dermot Weld’s Search For A Song flies the flag for Ireland along with Emmet Mullins’ Zero Ten.
Search For A Song bagged a Group Three contest at the Curragh by nine and a half lengths last month to score for the first time since winning a second successive Irish St Leger triumph in September, 2020.
Fiona Craig, advisor to owner-breeders Moyglare Stud Farm, said: “She’s in very good form. We’re hoping there isn’t too much rain, but I don’t think there has been and hopefully the ground won’t be as bad as it was on Arc weekend.
“The Aga Khan’s filly (Valia) could be tough to beat, but we’re hoping she’ll run well.
“When she was younger she used to like the ground fast and firm. I don’t think she needs that now, she just doesn’t need to be stuck in a bog.”