Investec Derby favourite Too Darn Hot and fellow Classic candidate Dark Vision appear on course for a mouthwatering clash in the Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes at Doncaster on Saturday.
An impeccably-bred son of Dubawi, the John Gosden-trained Too Darn Hot confirmed the impression of his seven-length debut success at Sandown with a four-length romp in the Solario Stakes back at the Esher track two weeks ago.
Recently purchased by Godolphin, Mark Johnston’s emphatic Vintage Stakes scorer Dark Vision had been expected to run in Ireland this weekend in the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes.
However, another Champagne entrant, Charlie Appleby’s Quorto, is set to represent Sheikh Mohammed’s operation at the Curragh.
Speaking to At The Races, Johnston’s son and assistant, Charlie, said: “That looks like how it’s going to pan out.
“When we left Goodwood our natural reaction was the next start would be in the National (Stakes), the horse was already a Group Two winner and that’s the obvious progression, to go up to Group One level on his next start, but you have to take these factors into account.
“Sheikh Mohammed doesn’t want these two horses running against each other and that’s perfectly understandable. So if we have to go to Doncaster, we have to go to Doncaster.
“The horse did his final piece of work this (Monday) morning, he’s never one to blow you away at home, he’s a very laid-back individual, but he seems in good order.
“Giving away a penalty to Too Darn Hot will be difficult, we’re well aware of that, but this horse is unbeaten and we still haven’t got to the bottom of him.”
Johnston has also left in Marie’s Diamond and Victory Command, while Charles Hills is represented by Phoenix Of Spain, a good winner of last month’s Acomb Stakes at York.
Aidan O’Brien is responsible for six of the five-day entries – Broome, Cape Of Good Hope, Cardini, Mohawk, The Irish Rover and Van Beethoven.
Joseph O’Brien’s No Needs Never and Fozzy Stack’s Wargrave take the number of Irish-trained entries to eight.
Bye Bye Hong Kong (Andrew Balding), Jonah Jones (Tom Dascombe) and Louis Treize (Richard Spencer) make up the list.