Malotru drops back to six furlongs for Thursday’s Betway Pavilion Stakes at Newcastle as he gears up for a potential Royal Ascot outing later this month.
Marco Botti’s colt won the seven-furlong Spring Cup at Lingfield back in February after a juvenile campaign that had seen him fall short in both the Gimcrack and Mill Reef Stakes.
The Newmarket handler had initially hoped to pitch Malotru into the German 2000 Guineas that was contested on Monday, but with coronavirus restrictions scuppering that plan, the Casamento colt will now head to Gosforth Park.
Botti said: “He’s in good form. We were planning to go for the German Guineas, but unfortunately we weren’t allowed to run, so we had a discussion and were thinking of going straight to Royal Ascot.
“The horse has been so well, he’s already won this year and the initial plan was to go up in trip with him to a mile but if we are dropping back, Newcastle is the track to do it.
“It’s a stiff six furlongs there and there will be plenty of speed in the race – he’s guaranteed to stay further than that.
“I hope the ground might be a bit quicker now they’ve had a couple of meetings, as he wouldn’t really want it deep.”
The Pavilion is a trial event for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and while Botti also has the seven-furlong Jersey Stakes on his radar, Malotru could put himself in the mix for the three-year-old sprint if he runs well at Newcastle.
Botti added: “We’ll see how he runs, if he did run well it could open up the Commonwealth Cup option as well as the Jersey Stakes.
“He’s in good form though and we’re looking forward to running.”
A’Ali, winner of last year’s Norfolk Stakes, the Prix Robert Papin and Flying Childers, leads the 14-strong field, but he will have to put a disappointing Breeders’ Cup run behind him on his return.
Richard Fahey’s Ventura Rebel finished a neck behind A’Ali at Ascot last year and he returns following an injury lay off, while stablemates Ventura Lightning and Show Me Show Me also take their chances.
Karl Burke is double-handed with Dubai Station and Gravity Force while Flying Childers second Dream Shot and Rockingham winner Aberama Gold are other leading contenders.