Mick Appleby expects star sprinter Danzeno to prove hard to beat in the Dubai Duty Free Dash at Ascot on Saturday.
The eight-year-old has been in fine form so far this year, with wins at Nottingham and Haydock sandwiching a tremendous effort to finish third in the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Danzeno also has a course and distance victory to his credit and with crack French jockey Gerald Mosse taking the ride, hopes are high that he can secure an eighth career success in Saturday’s opener.
Appleby also saddles the admirable veteran Caspian Prince, the mount of Japanese ace Yuga Kawada
“Both horses are in good form and they’re drawn close to each other, which is good,” said the Rutland-based trainer.
“I’m delighted to have Gerald Mosse on Danzeno. He’s ridden a few winners for me, so that’s very good news.
“I don’t know a lot about the other jockey – we’ll find out if he speaks Yorkshire or not!
“Hopefully Caspian Prince will jump out and try to make all and Danzeno will take a lead off him.
“I think Danzeno will take a bit of beating.”
Danzeno and Caspian Prince feature in a field of 10 runners in the five-furlong contest, with Paul Midgley saddling Final Venture.
The seven-year-old has filled the runner-up spot on each of his three starts this this season and bids to snap a two-year winless streak in the hands of female Australian jockey Jamie Kah.
Midgley said: “He’s run three good, solid races this year and seems in great form.
“I always like to support the Shergar Cup as they look after you so well and hopefully this horse has got as good a chance as any.
“It’s a tough race and I don’t know a lot about the jockey, but I’m sure she’ll be fine. All she has to do is point him in the right direction and he’ll do the rest.”
Archie Watson’s recent Pontefract scorer Corinthia Knight (Adrie de Vries), Dean Ivory’s Lancelot Du Lac (Hayley Turner) and the Tony Carroll-trained Recon Mission (Tadhg O’Shea) also feature.
The latter landed a competitive sprint handicap at York on his penultimate start before finishing last of 10 runners in the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury three weeks ago.
Carroll said: “We are hoping the rain that is forecast comes as we do need a drop of rain for him.
“We tried him in a Group Three last time, but it was still disappointing as we do hold him highly as he is a very good horse.
“I don’t know what went wrong. We did a little MOT and we couldn’t find anything wrong, so we have just put it down to something going wrong in the race as he was beaten too far out.
“At York he looked a really tough sort, as he has done in all of his races, and his Newbury run was very much out of character.
“Everything looks good now, though.”