Ken Condon is looking forward to seeing his Irish 2,000 Guineas hero Romanised return to action in the Gladness Stakes at Naas on Saturday.
The son of Holy Roman Emperor provided his trainer with his first Classic success when springing a surprise at the Curragh last May.
He was subsequently beaten in the St James’s Palace Stakes, the Prix Jacques le Marois and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and has his sights lowered on his seasonal reappearance in this seven-furlong Group Three.
Condon said: “He looks good and has wintered well. I’d say he’s about 90 per cent there and he’s ready to start.
“He seems in good form and I think he’ll appreciate the ground. It’s just on the slow side of good, which is better than it is usually at this time of year, and we’re looking forward to getting him started.
“I think it’s fair to say he didn’t rediscover his best form after the Irish Guineas last year, but we hope he’ll be competitive at Group One level again this season.”
The Kildare-based trainer fully acknowledges Romanised’s weekend task is far from straightforward – with his Group One penalty meaning he must concede upwards of 5lb to each of his eight rivals.
“This is his first run back and it’s not all about winning – he won’t be subjected to a hard race,” Condon added.
“He has a Lockinge entry and things like that, so we’ll see where we stand after the weekend and make a plan from there.”
Romanised’s biggest threat according to official ratings is Aidan O’Brien’s new recruit Le Brivido.
The five-year-old won the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot two years ago when trained by French maestro Andre Fabre, but has not been seen in competitive action disappointing in the Abernant at Newmarket 12 months ago.
O’Brien said: “He’s in good form. He’s a horse that shows plenty of pace, we think and hope that he will get a mile.
“We’re starting him off at seven (furlongs) and we think it will be a nice start for him, but we’ll learn a lot about him when we run him, hopefully.”
Last year’s Gladness Stakes hero Psychedelic Funk is back to defend his crown for Ger Lyons, while Dermot Weld’s Imaging steps up in class after winning the Listed Heritage Stakes at Leopardstown less than a fortnight ago.
Nebo (Tom Hogan), Smash Williams (Jim Bolger), Texas Rock (Michael Grassick), Ellthea (Fozzy Stack) and No Needs Never (Joseph O’Brien) complete the line-up.