Andre Fabre admits he is unsure how Earthlight will handle the undulations in a potentially top-class renewal of the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.
Already a Group One winner, the Godolphin-owned colt arrives unbeaten in four races and saw off the challenge of Mark Johnston’s Queen Mary winner Raffle Prize in the Prix Morny last time out.
Fabre had been looking at stepping him up in trip for the Dewhurst until Charlie Appleby’s Pinatubo, who is in the same ownership, booked that spot so he finds himself taking on Ger Lyons’ Siskin, another Group One winner, and Richard Hannon’s startling York scorer Mums Tipple.
“Earthlight is in good shape, I am very happy with him. He’s never had a setback and is an easy, sound horse,” said Fabre.
“His Prix Morny victory has been highly rated, but the soft ground was a factor and may have changed things. He has won on fast and soft, so the ground is not a real concern for him.
“Earthlight is not the most balanced horse, he carries his head a bit low, so his ability to handle Newmarket’s undulations will be something that we will have to discover on Saturday.”
Hannon has also left in his Gimcrack and Champagne Stakes winner Threat.
Aidan O’Brien is set to be in the unusual situation of not saddling one of the first three favourites for a juvenile Group One, but he could still be well represented.
Monarch Of Egypt could tackle Siskin again having chased him home the last twice while King Neptune, Lope Y Fernandez and Pistoletto could also represent Ballydoyle.
Clive Cox’s Golden Horde, who beat Threat at Goodwood and then ran well behind Earthlight in the Morny, is another with realistic claims.
Dubai Station, Prince Of Naples, Spartan Fighter and Summer Sands complete the 13.