Having missed two engagements since finishing second on his debut at the Berkshire track in July, the son of Wootton Bassett will look to go one better in the renowned mile prize, which numbers the likes of Shergar, Rainbow Quest and Nayef on its rich roll of honour.
He holds a number of big-race entries, and Marlborough handler Hannon said: “He is a nice horse that we’ve liked for quite a while. I thought he would go close in the Convivial at York, but he had an over-reach and couldn’t run.
“The next time he was meant to run at Salisbury he pulled a shoe off, so he didn’t run there. Hopefully we can get him to the races on Friday.”
He added of Ryan Moore’s mount: “We didn’t miss much with him, but he had an easy week each time he missed those races. It’s a good race and he goes there as a maiden.
“It will be the biggest test he has had so far and it will tell us whether we can look at some of those entries next to his name.
“The mile should be fine. He is a big horse that needs to run. He should be well able to it.”
After striking in 2015 with multiple Group-race scorer Stormy Antarctic, Ed Walker hopes new recruit Duckett’s Grove, who was purchased out of Emmet Mullins’ yard after winning a maiden at Cork last month, can repeat the feat on his stable debut.
The Lambourn trainer said: “Duckett’s Grove has not been with us all that long. He came to us in good nick, having obviously won well on debut at Cork.
“He is a big, scopey, rangy horse who is very much one for next year, but he was obviously forward enough to be able to win a maiden first time out.
“He has only done a couple of pieces of work here. He is a light-framed horse and has done it very well.
“Duckett’s Grove is a different type to Stormy Antarctic – Stormy had more experience when he won this race.
“We go there hopeful on Friday, but it does look a hot renewal.”
The seven runner field is completed by Nayef Road (Mark Johnston), Dashing Willoughby (Andrew Balding), Daniel Dravot (Michael Attwater), Palavecino (Brian Meehan) and Raakib Alhawa (David Simcock).
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