Calyx will bid to maintain his unbeaten record when returning to the scene of his finest hour in the Merriebelle Stable Commonwealth Cup Trial Stakes at Ascot on Wednesday.
The John Gosden-trained three-year-old has not been sighted since backing up his debut victory at Newmarket with an impressive success in last year’s Coventry Stakes at the Royal meeting in June.
Connections had considered giving the Kingman colt an outing in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday but following a recent racecourse gallop they decided to swerve the Classic in favour of the six-furlong Group Three prize.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: “Calyx is in good form and this is a good starting point for him as he has not run since the Coventry.
“This will get him going for the year then hopefully we can pursue the top mile races later on in the summer.
“It was a hard decision making the call not to run in the 2,000 Guineas as the race is important and it is something you want on the CV of every horse.
“We think long term this will be better for the horse and we thought it was a better way to go with him.
“It was a very good performance he put up in the Coventry Stakes last year, especially as he was racing on his own for the last two furlongs.”
Heading the opposition to Calyx will be fellow Royal Ascot scorer Signora Cabello from the yard of John Quinn who will be re-united with Oisin Murphy for the first time since last year’s Queen Mary.
Murphy said: “Calyx will be very tough to beat and I was very impressed with him in the Coventry Stakes.
“Signora Cabello is a very tough filly and this is a nice starting point for her and it will give us an indication of where we are going with her.
“I’ve not had the chance to sit her since Royal Ascot as I was suspended when she ran in France and Frankie (Dettori) kept the ride but it is great to get the leg back up on her again.
“She is quite a laid back filly in her races and it will give her every chance of staying six this season.”
Richard Hannon hopes that Well Done Fox can keep up his progression from last season when making his first start since finishing down the field in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.
Hannon said: “Well Done Fox has been working great. He might just need it being as it is his first run for a while but it is a good race to start him off in.
“I don’t think he liked it out in America. The six furlongs should be no problem for him. He is a decent horse and he improved in nearly every race last year.”
The field is completed by Konchek (Clive Cox), No Nonsense (David Elsworth), Pocket Dynamo (Robert Cowell) and The Cruising Lord (Michael Attwater).