Sylvester Kirk is keeping his fingers crossed Salouen can prove his tremendous effort in the Coronation Cup was no fluke with a bold showing in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on Sunday.
The four-year-old was a largely unconsidered 33-1 shot at Epsom at the start of June, but came close to pulling off an almighty shock before being caught in the shadows of the post by red-hot favourite Cracksman.
The latter was disappointingly beaten in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot last week, but with conditions to suit, Kirk hopes his charge can make his presence felt in France this weekend.
Kirk said: “He’s been jumping out of his skin since Epsom and we’re very much looking forward to running him. He seems in great form.
“He obviously ran a great race at Epsom and we’ll find out on Sunday what the form is worth and how much Cracksman underperformed.
“The ground looks like it will be on the slow side, as it was at Epsom.
“It looks a quality race, but we couldn’t be happier with our horse going into it.”
Salouen is one of two British raiders in an eight-strong field, with John Gosden supplementing his high-class filly Coronet.
The daughter of Dubawi claimed her second Group Two victory in the Middleton Stakes at York in May and connections are hoping strike at the highest level for the first time before the season is out.
Richard Evans, farm manager at Denford Stud who own and bred Coronet, said: “We’re very excited. We’re more hopeful than confident, but we’ll see how she goes.
“It was decided to take her to France rather than run in the Pretty Polly in Ireland on Sunday. I think the main reason was the ground looks like it might be rattling quick at the Curragh and it was actually soft at Saint-Cloud earlier in the week.
“We kept her in training because she’s by Dubawi and the family tend to improve with age. I saw her at York and I definitely thought she looked stronger than she did last season.
“She made a nice comeback at York and the aim for the year now is to try and sneak a Group One somewhere along the line.”
Andre Fabre saddles the progressive Waldgeist and Cloth Of Stars.
The Francis-Henri Graffard-trained Bateel and three German raiders in Iquitos, Guignol and Oriental Eagle complete the line-up.