Roger Charlton’s seven-year-old won the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown during a stunning 2013 campaign and last summer returned from an unsuccessful stint at stud.
After winning a Group Three at Windsor, Al Kazeem failed to get competitive in either the Irish Champion Stakes or the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, but finished the year on a real high by pushing Noble Mission all the way in the Champion Stakes.
Owner John Deer is hoping he can add to his tally of top-level victories this year and has identified a couple of early-season opportunities across the Channel.
He said: “He didn’t actually leave Roger after the end of last season. I decided the best course of action was to keep him there through the winter and let Roger quietly reintroduce him into training.
“We’ll see how things go, but my thoughts would be that he could come back in a Group Two at Longchamp in early April (Prix d’Harcourt). That would obviously have to be run by Roger, but that’s what I’m thinking at the moment. He’s a big, strong, older horse now, so hopefully he’ll be ready to return and then there’s a Group One in France three weeks later (Prix Ganay) he could run in.
“It was wonderful to see him run so well at Ascot at the end of last season. I was so pleased it was almost like winning, to be honest, as it is very unusual for a horse to come back from stud and run as well as he did. The Champion Stakes also came only 13 days after the Arc, so there must be a question mark over whether he was at his very best.”