Qaader’s connections warn he will have to raise his game if he is to get the better of old rival Yazaman in the Qatar Richmond Stakes.
Angus Gold, racing manager for the speedy juvenile’s owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, has spelled out that Qaader must improve on what he has so far managed if he is to prevail in Thursday’s Group Two.
Mark Johnston’s colt must turn round Newmarket form with likely favourite Yazaman, who finished two places and more than three lengths ahead of him in the July Stakes over this same trip of six furlongs.
Both were also Royal Ascot runners-up and re-oppose here in a field of seven containing five fellow previous winners.
Gold is wary of the task being set, but hopes quicker ground may favour Qaader – who was not helped by a rain-softened surface last time.
“He’s got to perform better,” he said.
“I know Mark (Johnston) felt it was possibly the ground last time that didn’t help him, and he’ll want faster ground – which he’s going to get. But I think he’s going to have to lift (his level) as well.
“It’s drying up certainly, so we’ll see if he’s good enough.
“He ran a good race at Ascot, but he’s got to go up a grade now.”
The William Haggas-trained Yazaman beat all bar the Queen’s Tactical in the July Stakes, having previously been beaten by the same horse in the Windsor Castle Stakes.
“He ran a very good race last time – he’s not done much wrong all the way through, to be fair,” said Haggas.
“I’m hoping the track and trip will suit him and he’s in good form, so hopefully he’ll run another good race.”
Aidan O’Brien’s Ascot disappointment Admiral Nelson is out to prove he is better than his performance in the Coventry Stakes, when a well-beaten favourite behind shock winner Nando Parrado and Qaader.
Tom Dascombe’s Lauded finished just a place in front of Admiral Nelson that day, and his trainer is another pinning his hopes this time on better ground.
Dascombe said: “I thought he ran really well at Ascot.
“If you watch the replay of the Coventry, he was just about the last horse off the bridle, and I think just the stiff six furlongs on soft ground caught him out.
“We’ve been happy with him since, and we’re very much looking forward to running him in the Richmond.”