The son of Kingman looked destined for the top after running out an impressive winner of the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2019 – but he has been seen in competitive action just twice since.
While there was promise in his fourth-placed finish in a Group Three won by Lord North at Haydock in June, Sangarius did not run again until December, when he got the better of Bangkok and Dubai Warrior in a thrilling finish to the Quebec Stakes at Lingfield.
Having had a second wind operation during the winter, Sir Michael Stoute’s charge steps up to Group Two level on Friday’s return to turf on the Roodee.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner-breeders Juddmonte, said: “Sangarius had a bit of disjointed season last year, but he actually came back and produced a pretty smart performance when he won at Lingfield.
“We need to get him rolling and get a clean run with him this year, if we can.
“He certainly has talent, so let’s hope things go well for him this season.”
Sangarius renews rivalry with Bangkok, who was beaten a nose in the Quebec Stakes.
Since then, Andrew Balding’s five-year-old has returned to Lingfield to win February’s Winter Derby Trial and the Easter Classic on Good Friday.
Aidan O’Brien saddles the high-class Armory, who last season finished fourth in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the Tattersalls Gold Cup, third in the Irish Champion Stakes and rounded off his year by finishing second to former stablemate Sir Dragonet in the Cox Plate.
Jockey Ryan Moore told Betfair: “With Japan going for the Ormonde, we rely on Armory here and he looks the stand-out on form, even though Sangarius and Bangkok are very good horses in their own right, and the first-named could prove troublesome here.
“My colt handles soft ground – even if a quicker surface would suit him even better – he ran a great race when third in Irish Champion and then found only his former stablemate Sir Dragonet too good in the Cox Plate.
“He is a very classy horse and the one to beat on form, though no more rain would help.”
Brian Meehan’s course-and-distance winner Palavecino and Bharani Star, from Peter Chapple-Hyam’s yard, complete the quintet.
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