Victory Bond sets off on the road back to All-Weather Championships Finals Day in the sunracing.co.uk Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton.
The William Haggas-trained six-year-old won the Easter Classic on the big day at Lingfield 12 months ago and has run just twice since – most recently finishing fourth in a Listed contest at Kempton in November.
He reverts to handicap company for his return to action, with 7lb claimer Cieren Fallon offsetting some of his burden of 9st 10lb.
Haggas said: “He’s very well. He picked up a knock after Kempton so he hasn’t run for a while, but he’s been training well and he’s in good shape.
“We’re hoping to get him qualified for Good Friday and he needs to run twice before then.
“He has plenty of weight on Saturday, so we’re claiming off him and I hope he’ll run a nice race.”
Stuart Williams fires a twin assault at the £50,000 contest, with Pactolus and Pinnata both declared.
Pactolus returns to action just a fortnight after finishing third behind the high-class Wissahickon in the Winter Derby, while Pinnata placed third in a strong race at Newcastle last month when chasing a four-timer.
Williams said: “Pactolus has been a star for us and ran a very good race to finish second in this race last year.
“He’s a bit higher in the weights now, which is why we’re claiming off him with Ben Coen (claims 5lb).
“He is in very good form and you could say his last run was his best run.
“Pinnata has been progressing all winter – I thought he ran a good race at Newcastle – and stepping back up in trip to a mile and a bit will suit.”
Other contenders in a 13-strong field include the Archie Watson-trained Silver Quartz, Richard Fahey’s Third Time Lucky and Mark Johnston’s trio of Masham Star, Aquarium and Ventura Knight.
Listed honours are up for grabs in the £50,000 sunracing.co.uk Lady Wulfruna Stakes later in the afternoon.
Island Of Life is stepped up in class by Haggas after recent wins at Newcastle, Kempton and over this course and distance.
“I’m happy with her at home and she seems to be improving with every run,” Haggas added.
“She still has a bit to find with a few of the horses she’s up against this weekend, but every time she runs she gets better, so fingers crossed she’ll run well again.”
Williams is represented by Keystroke, who made a winning debut for the yard at Kempton in January on what was his first appearance since running in Dubai 11 months earlier.
He said: “He is in good form. He has a bit to find with one or two of them, but we’ve kept him for this race since Kempton.
“I’m happy with his condition.”
The likely favourite is Oh This Is Us from Richard Hannon’s yard – a winner at Lingfield two weeks ago.
“Oh This Is Us always runs a good race. He got beaten at Wolverhampton on his first run of the year, but he needed that and he won well giving weight away in a handicap at Lingfield last time out,” said Hannon.
“I think a mile is better for him and this is over seven furlongs, but he needs to run in this to qualify for Good Friday, which is the plan.
“He is quickly becoming a favourite of the yard and I don’t think I’ve trained one that has been so consistent for so long.
“He has been a star.”
After a dominant display over the course and distance last time out, Documenting is a first runner at Listed level for trainer Kevin Frost.
He said: “Documenting is in great order and has come out of his latest win at Wolverhampton in good form.
“He is one of the lowest-rated horses in the race with a mark of 101 and I am not sure if he is up to Listed class as I have never had a runner in a Listed race, but we are looking forward to seeing how he gets on.”