Hey Gaman will face Group One-winning filly Polydream when he bids for a first win at Pattern level at ParisLongchamp.
The James Tate-trained Hey Gaman came within a neck of winning the French 2000 Guineas 12 months ago, and has also been beaten less than a length in Group-race company in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and the Greenham Stakes at Newbury.
The New Approach colt could hardly have been more impressive on his seasonal reappearance in a Listed event at Leicester last month, and Tate is confident his charge is better than ever as he bids for Thursday’s Group Three Prix du Palais-Royal.
“We’re very much looking forward to it,” said the Newmarket trainer.
“He looked like he was in the form of his life at Leicester, and we’ve been very happy with him since.
“It doesn’t look the easiest Group Three there’s ever been – there’s some very respectable horses in it – but we’re very confident of a big run.
“We know he likes Longchamp. We said during the winter we’d start at Listed level and then hopefully step up to Group class again. Leicester did the Listed job – and now we’ll try and make the next step.”
Freddy Head’s Polydream won this same race a year ago, before following up in the Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville on her next start.
She disappointed on her final outing of 2018 in the Prix de la Foret, and also ran below expectations on her seasonal reappearance in a Group Two at Saint-Cloud.
Head said: “She likes the course and won this race last year.
“She has to carry a bit of a penalty and give weight away, but she is well anyway, and I’m very happy with her.
“I was disappointed with her last run. The jockey felt maybe she didn’t get the mile, so we’ll try her over seven furlongs and see what happens.”
Pia Brandt’s Tour To Paris, the Thierry Lemer-trained King Malpic and Andre Fabre’s Urwald also feature in a nine-strong field.