Alan King is hopeful Dunkerron can get his season back on track in the Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.
The youngster looked a high-class prospect following successive wins at Windsor and York in June.
He was a respectable fourth when stepped up to Group Two level for Newmarket’s July Stakes on his next start before finding only Dark Vision too strong in the Vintage at Goodwood.
However, Dunkerron trailed home last of six runners in a Solario Stakes won in emphatic style by Too Darn Hot at Sandown earlier this month and he returns to Newmarket with something to prove as a result.
“I would like to think that if Dunkerron comes back to his best, he will go very close,” said King.
“He was very disappointing in the Solario Stakes and was quite sick with a bad scope the following week.
“He gave no indication that anything was ailing him before that run, but a lot of my two-year-olds were not quite right for a brief period.”
Should Dunkerron bounce back to winning ways on the Rowley Mile, he will provide King – more known for his exploits in the National Hunt sphere – with a first juvenile Group-race success.
He added: “He would definitely be the best two-year-old that I have trained, which is quite special since he was bred at Barbury Castle Stud by my good mate, Nigel Bunter, who still has the mare.”
Dunkerron faces six rivals in the seven-furlong Group Three.
Setting the standard on recent form is Aidan O’Brien’s Irish challenger Cardini, who was a shade over four lengths behind the aforementioned Too Darn Hot in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster less than a fortnight ago.
The Roger Varian-trained Prince Eiji faces a significant step up in class after making a winning debut at Ascot.
Speaking on his website www.varianstable.com, “Prince Eiji showed a professional attitude to win first time out and he will naturally improve for the run.
“This is a significant rise in grade, but he looks to have a good future and this is a nice step up the ladder for him.”
Mark Johnston’s three-times winner Arctic Sound, Andrew Balding’s Bye Bye Hong Kong, Floating Artist from Richard Hannon’s yard and You Never Can Tell, trained by Richard Spencer, are the other hopefuls.