Sharja Bridge has his first run since a gelding operation in the Bet In Play On The Betfair Exchange Superior Mile Stakes at Haydock on Saturday.
Roger Varian’s five-year-old ended last season by winning the Balmoral Handicap on Champions Day and began this campaign with a smooth success in a Listed race at Doncaster.
His subsequent second to the ill-fated Beat The Bank was a career-best at Sandown, but he could not trouble the principals in the Lockinge and Queen Anne and has since been gelded.
Varian said: “It is his first run for a little while, but he should like the ground and he is training nicely.
“He has had a gelding operation since his last run. It was an easy decision to come to as he is not a summer ground horse. He prefers the autumn conditions and he probably hadn’t achieved enough on the track to be a stallion.
“He is capable of winning a very nice race in the autumn and Saturday is a starting point, but hopefully he will run well.”
Richard Hannon’s Walkinthesand landed a big pot at Newmarket in July, but he was unplaced at Goodwood last time out.
That was over 10 furlongs, however, and Hannon hopes the drop in trip helps.
He said: “We are coming back down in trip, but he is going there with a good chance and the race has slightly cut up, too.
“He is a good horse on his day. With him you either have to go in a handicap and give stones away or take these horses on.
“I think the ground will be fine for him. Ryan (Moore) can ride him which gives him a few pluses.”
Keith Dalgleish steps What’s The Story up in class after a good win at York, while Mark Johnston’s prolific winner Matterhorn takes his chance, as does Andrew Balding’s 2017 Sussex Stakes hero Here Comes When – the winner of this race 12 months ago.
Raising Sand (Jamie Osborne) and Great Scot (Tom Dascombe) complete the seven-strong field, after the William Haggas-trained Miss O Connor was declared a non runner.