Marco Botti plans to work back from an outing in the German 2000 Guineas with impressive Spring Cup winner Malotru.
The Newmarket handler is keen to aim the son of Casamento at the Group Two prize at Cologne in May, following his impressive victory on his first start over seven furlongs at Lingfield.
Although suffering defeats on his previous Group Two starts in the Gimcrack Stakes at York and Mill Reef at Newbury, the Newmarket handler is confident Malotru is capable of performing at that level now.
Botti said: “We always thought he was a nice two-year-old that showed plenty of speed.
“It was a good run in the Gimcrack. He was a bit disappointing in the Mill Reef, but things didn’t go his way and for whatever reason, he hung left and drifted from the other horses.
“We were trying to relax him and though he was a bit gassy in the first furlong, everything suggested he would probably stretch to a mile, as he got seven well and with that we are looking towards the German 2000 Guineas.”
While Malotru’s latest success guarantees him a place on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield on Good Friday, Botti is weighing up two alternative options ahead of sending him over to Germany.
Botti said: “Although it was a fast-track qualifier he won the other day, he is unlikely to go to Lingfield on Good Friday.
“We might look at the Greenham or the Kentucky Derby Trial at Chelmsford in early April.
“The race at Chelmsford is over mile round a bend and it would probably be good to run over that trip. The only thing with the Newbury race is it would have to be on the soft side, as he is not a fast-ground horse.”
A trip to Lingfield for the Betway Middle Distance Final is on the agenda for Felix, who was a first winner in Britain this year for Ryan Moore when striking at Kempton.
Botti said: “He seems to like the surface. Everything went to plan at Kempton as he got the gap at the right time and quickened up like a nice horse.
“I spoke to the owner after the race, he is keen to run him in the mile-and-a-quarter final at Lingfield and I would think that would be his next target, all being well.”
Although Felix has notched three wins on the all-weather over the winter, Botti believes he can be equally effective on turf.
He added: “I think he will be competitive enough on the turf as he has won on the grass before, so he isn’t just an all-weather horse.
“A mile and a quarter seems to be his trip and he could be a nice horse over that distance as the season goes on.”