The five-year-old was a stunning winner of the Dubai Turf at Meydan at the end of March and has continued in the same vein since returning to Europe, landing the Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp before claiming Royal Ascot glory in the Queen Anne.
The flying grey looked set for a mouth-watering clash with leading three-year-old Gleneagles in another highly-anticipated ‘Duel on the Downs’, but with Aidan O’Brien’s charge defecting on account of the rain-softened ground, Solow is odds-on to add another Group One to his CV.
“I think he ran a very good race at Ascot and I was very happy with him. I think it was as good as his other wins,” said Head.
“Goodwood should not be a problem to him as he is a very handy horse and easy to ride. He also has plenty of speed. I think that Goodwood will suit him better than the stiff mile at Ascot.
“The ground at Ascot was a bit firm for him, but I still believe that the Queen Anne form is pretty strong. Some of the big-name horses may have run a little below par but that was not Solow’s fault and Esoterique (runner-up) is a very good filly on her day.
“Race tactics are not a problem for him as he has won from the front — he can do anything.”
Solow is the star turn in an eight-strong field and is reopposed by Queen Anne fifth Night Of Thunder, with Richard Hannon hoping his charge can at least close the gap on the market leader.
Hannon said: “Night Of Thunder has four and three-quarter lengths to make up on Solow on Queen Anne form from Royal Ascot, but our fellow ran better than his finishing position suggests as he was still second at the furlong-pole but could not quicken up on that fast ground.
“Night Of Thunder’s chance has definitely increased by the weekend rain and that is why we have re-routed from the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville and, while Solow will probably also appreciate this easier ground, this is another day and another track.”
Arod has earned his shot at a Group One after winning the Diomed Stakes at Epsom and Ascot’s Summer Mile on his last two starts.
Trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam said: “He’s really good and has come out of his last race very well.
“Epsom took a bit out of him because he’s a bit of a free sweater and it was quite a hot day, but Ascot didn’t take that much out of him and he seems in very good form. He’s going to need to be.”
In Gleneagles’ absence, O’Brien relies on Cougar Mountain, who comes back in distance after finishing fourth to Golden Horn in the Coral-Eclipse.
Belardo is an interesting representative from the Classic generation after finishing fourth behind Gleneagles in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.
Gabrial, Here Comes When and Bossy Guest complete the line-up.