Charlie Appleby believes Ghaiyyath has matured as his mouthwatering clash with Enable in next Sunday’s Coral-Eclipse nears.
Seen as a bit of a tearaway in his younger days, the five-year-old has nonetheless won seven of his 10 races – including two Group Ones.
His only below-par run came in last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe when he faced competition for the lead on very soft ground.
Since then, though, he has bolted up in Meydan before beating last year’s Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck and subsequent three-time Gold Cup winner Stradivarius in the rearranged Coronation Cup at Newmarket – which he won in a track record time.
Appleby said: “I’m very pleased with him. Obviously since the Coronation he’s had an easy spell.
“We’re dealing with a different horse this year, to be honest, post-race he’s taking it a lot better than he did last year.
“Obviously when you put up those big performances it’s going to take something out of you – but he’s taking his racing well this year, and it’s all systems go for the Eclipse.
“We’ve seen two big performances from him in Germany and the Coronation, and he’s never really done much wrong. He’s only put one disappointing run in, and that was in the Arc when it was soft ground and a tough race on the front-end.
“Up until then you’d have a job to knock him. We’ve also learned about his favoured ground, too. At the end of his two-year-old season I was saying he’d appreciate cut in the ground, but it’s in black and white that he prefers fast ground.
“The Coronation was a fast time, and it seems to be working out well. We’re pleased with him and looking forward to Sandown.”
Ghaiyyath is a 5-2 chance with the sponsors for the Eclipse, with Enable their 10-11 favourite.