Judicial will bid for back-to-back wins in the Betway Golden Rose Stakes at Lingfield.
The eight-year-old sprang a 20-1 surprise in the 2019 edition of Saturday’s Listed heat, and trainer Julie Camacho was looking towards All Weather Finals Day with her charge until the April event was cancelled because of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Judicial returned with a fine effort to finish second in the Palace House Stakes back in June, before adding the Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle on his next start and then also winning the Queensferry Stakes at Chester in August.
He has not run since finishing fourth at York in September. But Steve Brown, husband and assistant to Camacho, revealed this weekend’s feature race has been the long-term aim.
He said: “Judicial has had a nice preparation for this. The ground at the back-end of the turf season is generally against him, which is why we planned to wait for the Golden Rose.
“I think it looks a stronger race compared to last year, and obviously he will have a penalty to carry for his Group Three win at Newcastle. It will be a tougher test for him, but at the same time we are looking forward to it.
“In winning this race last year, he really proved himself over six furlongs, and I think that extra furlong over the last 12 months has really suited him. He has looked a better horse over six furlongs, because he has been able to travel more within himself.”
While Judicial is now in his seventh season, Brown feels the fact he has been lightly raced is key to how he is maintaining his form.
He added: “For all he is eight going on nine, he has not had a hard time of things.
“He has run 40 times in his life, which is not a lot for a sprinter of his age, and touch wood he is a very sound horse with no aches and pains. It all contributes to him being in such good form at this stage of his life.”