David O’Meara’s grey won the Balmoral Handicap on Qipco British Champions Day last season and is firmly on course for a return to the Berkshire circuit on October 20 following a largely successful campaign.
As well as winning the Group Three Strensall Stakes at York, the five-year-old has been placed in the Queen Anne Stakes, the Summer Mile and the Sussex Stakes this summer, but he could only finish sixth in the Woodbine Mile earlier this month.
O’Meara said: “The whole trip went wrong from the day we left England.
“He didn’t get to Canada until late on the Thursday night, what with delays, planes breaking down and all that carry on. The week before we were in limbo, and he was in Amsterdam for four days doing nothing.”
Asked if the experience may have left a mark, he added: “Time will tell, but he seems OK – and we’ve got a bit of time between now and British Champions Day.
“Last year (when he won the Balmoral Handicap) was really good – at the furlong pole I think he had something like 17 horses still in front of him.
“Obviously he is a very smart horse, and we are looking forward to taking him there again for the QEII.
“We know he loves Ascot and goes on any ground, which is a great help.”