Sixties Icon drops back to a mile and a quarter for the first time in two years for the Letheby & Christopher Festival Stakes at Goodwood on Thursday.
The 2006 St Leger hero has not run over that distance since he won his maiden at Windsor, but trainer Jeremy Noseda believes the five-year-old has enough speed and that he is coming back to form.
Sixties Icon made a pleasing reappearance when second to the potentially high-class Getaway in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month.
“I was delighted with his comeback, as happy as you could be for finishing second,” said Noseda.
“It was nice to see him back after two very poor runs at the backend of last year. It has given us hope that the work we had to do on him after those runs had been effective and put us back in a position where I hope he can get back to his old level of form.
“We left him in last week’s Yorkshire Cup, but I’m not crazy at this point of going back to a mile and six quite yet until I feel the horse has got his confidence.
“Paul Roy (owner) and myself had a little chat over the weekend. I was quite keen to take him to Great Leighs next week for a small conditions race and hopefully give him a confidence-booster, but after that discussion we decided to go to Goodwood.
“We will keep our fingers crossed and hope he does well.
“He looked comfortable at Newmarket and travelled great through the race.
“Basically I think the winner (Getaway) could be a very good horse. It was only in the last furlong that the winner got on top of us.
“I feel my horse will look a lot tighter for the race and I’m sure he’ll improve fitness-wise. It will be the first time he’s been back over a mile and a quarter since he won his maiden, but the one thing he’s shown me this spring in his work is quite a lot of speed.
“We’ve got to take a little bit on face that he’s going to be effective. My gut instinct is that in this company a mile and a quarter shouldn’t be a problem,” Noseda told At The Races.
Sixties Icon faces just four rivals – Godolphin’s Blue Ksar, Gay Kelleway’s Ballinteni, the Michael Bell-trained Spice Route and Sweet Lilly from Mick Channon’s stable.