Royal Ascot winner Sangarius has his first run on the all-weather in the Betway Quebec Stakes at Lingfield on Saturday.
Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, the four-year-old has been seen just once since his career-best effort in the Hampton Court Stakes of 2019.
While subsequent events proved Sangarius was not disgraced in fourth behind Lord North in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes, with Elarqam and Telecaster second and third respectively and all going on to win Group races, connections still believe he is capable of better.
“Sangarius had a hold up after Haydock, but he has come back well and his work over the last five or six weeks has been pleasing. He goes there in good shape,” said owner Khalid Abdullah’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe.
“It is important to get him back on the racecourse, because he has only had one race since winning at Royal Ascot in 2019. At the age he is now, we have to get going with him when we can. Then hopefully if all goes well, we will be able to make more a plan.
“He has always shown plenty of promise and the team still retains the faith, as they say!”
However, Sangarius, who has had a wind operation since his last appearance in mid-summer, faces a far from straightforward task.
John Gosden’s all-weather specialist Dubai Warrior, who won the race last year, is chief among the opposition. He later went on to win the Winter Derby in fine style, emulating the achievements of stablemate Wissahickon.
Andrew Balding also has two lively contenders in Johnny Drama, who arrives on a five-timer, and Bangkok.
Almodovar will strip fitter after his first run for almost 1,000 days behind Kinross – while Charlie Appleby’s King’s Command, a Group Three winner in France last year, is another interesting contender.