Richard Hannon is excited to see his 2000 Guineas runner-up King Of Change make his return from a four-month absence in the Chasemore Farm Fortune Stakes at Sandown on Wednesday.
The Farhh colt was a largely unconsidered 66-1 shot for the first colts’ Classic of the season on the Rowley Mile, but outran his huge odds to finish a clear second behind the Aidan O’Brien-trained Magna Grecia.
King Of Change has not been seen in competitive action since, with Hannon electing to keep his powder dry for an autumn campaign, but he is likely to be a warm order to make a successful comeback in this one-mile Listed contest.
“He’s in good form and has had a nice break since the Guineas. Hopefully he goes there with a good chance,” said the Herridge handler.
“I’m sure he’ll come on for the run – he’s been off the track a long time, so he’s bound to need it a bit.
“We’re happy with him and it will be good to get him going again.”
King Of Change is set to face five rivals, with the field headed by Sir Michael Stoute’s South African recruit Last Winter.
The six-year-old has been off the track since January of last year, when he was narrowly beaten in a Grade One at Kenilworth.
The Godolphin colours are carried by Charlie Appleby’s Wootton and Silver Line from Saeed bin Suroor’s yard. The latter bolted up on his first start of 2019 at Nottingham in July before finishing fifth in a competitive handicap at York last month.
“He’s been running well, but this looks a tough race,” his trainer admitted.
“He’s in good condition, is working well and I’m happy with him. I’m hoping for a good run.
“Sometimes these Listed races can be a bit easier than the handicaps, but this one could be tough.”
Roger Varian’s long-absent Prince Eiji and John Gosden’s Celebration Mile runner-up Turgenev are the other hopefuls.
The potential star attraction on the undercard at the Esher venue is the Gosden-trained Palace Pier.
The Kingman colt could hardly have been more impressive on his debut over the course and distance three weeks ago and bids to carry a penalty to victory in the Max Patel Wealth Manager Of Choice Novice Stakes under Frankie Dettori.
Gosden said: “He has been fine and we intended to go to a novice. It is the last day racing at Sandown and as he enjoyed the track there last time, we decided to go again.
“I’ve left him in the Dewhurst and he was very impressive the other day, (but) you might suddenly see us sneaking over the Channel – unless they lock us out!”