Lightning Spear makes what could be the penultimate start of his career in the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.
Following a string of fine efforts in defeat at the top level including placed efforts in the Lockinge at Newbury and the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot earlier this season, David Simcock’s charge finally broke his Group One duck with a popular victory in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood last month.
At the ripe old age of seven, he is set to hang up his racing shoes at the end of this season to take up stallion duties and connections are hoping he can enjoy another big day in France this weekend.
David Redvers, racing manager to owner Sheikh Fahad’s Qatar Racing operation, said: “From my point of view he looks amazing and I believe David and everyone at home is delighted with him.
“Sadly we won’t be there on Sunday as we’ll be at the sales in Kentucky, but I’m sure he’ll have a huge following.
“The thinking (after Goodwood) was that he’d only have two more runs. He was to run in either the Moulin or the Prix de la Foret, and then either the QEII at Ascot or the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
“He could have another three runs, but I think it will probably just be the two.”
Lightning Spear renews rivalry with Sussex Stakes runner-up Expert Eye.
Sir Michael Stoute’s colt has since claimed his second Group Three of the season with victory in the City of York Stakes, adding to his triumph in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah, said: “He’s been in good form since York and is stepping back up to a mile again.
“The ground should suit him, by all reports, and we’re looking forward to it.
“It looks a strong and competitive race, but I think he certainly deserves to be there.
“I definitely feel he is a Group One horse, but he’s got to go and prove it.”
The John Gosden-trained Without Parole completes a three-strong British challenge.
The St James’s Palace Stakes hero has something to prove after finishing down the field in the Sussex Stakes and the Juddmonte International at York on his last two appearances.
Gosden said: “He’s in good form. He got a bit squeezed out of it at York, but we’ve been happy with him since.
“I believe they’ve got quick ground and it’s dry and sunny out there and this horse does horse does want top of the ground.”
The home team is headed by the Carlos Laffon-Parias-trained Recoletos, who was last seen chasing home Jessica Harrington’s wonder filly Alpha Centauri in the Prix Jacques le Marois.
Andre Fabre’s pair of Plumatic and Wind Chimes also feature in an 11-strong field.