Prolific winner Wissahickon makes his eagerly-awaited return to action in the Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock on Saturday.
John Gosden’s charge has won eight times from just 11 career starts, with only three of those appearances coming on turf – most recently destroying his rivals in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket last September.
He rattled up a significant hat-trick on the all-weather during the winter with victories in the Quebec Stakes, the Winter Derby Trial and the Winter Derby itself, but found Mark Johnston’s Matterhorn too strong when widely expected to land the Easter Classic on Good Friday.
The four-year-old is set to make his first competitive appearance since that shock defeat almost four months ago in this weekend’s 10-furlong Group Three, and connections are looking forward to seeing how Frankie Dettori’s mount performs.
James Wigan, racing manager for owner George Strawbridge, said: “We are very much looking forward to getting him back on the track.
“He looked very promising earlier in the year, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”
Wissahickon’s biggest threat appears to be the William Haggas-trained Addeybb, although his participation remains uncertain.
Winner of the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Pivotal gelding was unable to reel in Elarqam when hot favourite to follow up in the York Stakes a fortnight ago.
“He seems in good form. We’d like to see some rain and lots of it, but there is more forecast, so we’ll see what materialises,” said Haggas.
“He ran well at York, but I don’t think he ran as well as he did at Ascot.
“Hopefully he has a good chance on Saturday, but he won’t run if conditions aren’t in his favour.”
Owen Burrows saddles Wadilsafa, who steps up in trip after finishing sixth in last month’s Summer Mile at Ascot.
“He’s in good form. I wouldn’t want to see too much rain, but he did run well on soft ground at York a couple of starts back,” said the Lambourn-based trainer.
“He’s fresh and well and I’m looking forward to stepping him up in trip. The work he does at home suggests a mile and a quarter will suit him.
“I would have liked to have gone for a Listed race, but there wasn’t anything suitable.
“He has a bit to find on ratings, but we’re very happy with him and we’ll see how we go.”
Raise You is an interesting contender for Andrew Balding as he drops in class after finishing down the field in the French Derby.
James Fanshawe’s Pondus, Joe Tuite’s Surrey Thunder and John Mackie’s outsider Lunar Jet are the other hopefuls.