Peeress will bid to become the first horse for over 10 years to land back-to-back renewals of the Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.
Michael Stoute’s six-year-old mare produced a career-best performance to win 12 months ago and was considered unlucky not to add another Group One race to her tally on several occasions thereafter.
Stoute handled Soviet Line, who won the 1995 and 1996 renewals, and also hit the mark with Medicean (2001) and Russian Rhythm (2004).
Last season’s Jersey Stakes winner Jeremy will also represent the Freemason Lodge handler, who is Paddy Power’s 100-30 second favourite behind stablemate Peeress (7-4).
“Peeress is ready for a run both physically and mentally and the ground has come in her favour,” said Chris Richardson, managing director of owners Cheveley Park Stud.
“It will be nice to get her back on the track and get her competing back at the top level again.
“She’s been working well. She is better with a bit of give underfoot and she will have a similar campaign to last year but slightly dictated by what moisture there is the ground.
“She goes on quicker ground but she is definitely better with a bit of cut.”
Godolphin have also enjoyed a fair amount of success in the early-season mile championship.
Cape Cross (1998), Fly To The Stars (1999) and Aljabr (2000) have won for the stable and they rely on recent Italian recruit Ramonti this time around.
“This is Ramonti’s first race for us and he has done very well so far,” said handler Saeed bin Suroor.
“He had a nice winter in Dubai and looks fresh and happy. He’s ready to go, although he will improve from the race.
“I wouldn’t want to see the ground become too soft at Newbury, as he prefers decent ground.
“It will be a very tough race on Saturday with some good horses in there, but we are looking forward to it, and hope Ramonti can show his class.
“If he runs well at the weekend, we would consider the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot,” he told www.godolphin.com.
Pam Sly believes Speciosa will also acquit herself well.
Last year’s 1000 Guineas winner made an encouraging seasonal debut when second to Manduro at Newmarket on ground that was probably a shade too firm for her.
“It was a bit quick there. The ground will not be too bad tomorrow,” said the Singlecote trainer.
“She’s still quite big but she’s well.
“She’s drawn in the middle (four) which should be fine – no problems with that. They will go whichever side they want to.
“I think she should be in the first three or four, but we’ll need more than a bit of luck to win.”
Secret World was five lengths behind Speciosa when seventh to Manduro in the Earl Of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket a month ago, but trainer Jeremy Noseda is hoping the lightly-raced colt can respond to the challenge.
“Secret World is in good form and has been working well. We just have our fingers crossed that he relaxes and gives himself a chance in the race,” Noseda told www.jeremynoseda.com.
Michael Bell was at a loss to explain why Red Evie is going into the race a relatively unconsidered 10-1 chance.
After progressing rapidly through the ranks last season she beat Peeress in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on the only occasion they met.
“I think it will be very similar ground to what she won on last year there so that won’t be a problem,” explained Bell.
“She’s an extremely lazy worker but she looks in great physical condition so there is no reason to expect that she won’t perform well.
“You never know with fillies if they have retained their ability until they run but she certainly looks in great shape.
“It looks a warm race but I think she should be bang there. She has beaten Peeress the only time they met and she is favourite – I think that takes a bit of explaining.
“If one has won on the only occasion they have met and she is 10-1 and the other 7-4 favourite there is no logic to it.
“The only time she disappointed she was over the top so we live in hope.”
Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes
Paddy Power bet: 7-4 Peeress, 10-3 Jeremy, 4-1 Ramonti, 10-1 Red Evie, Speciosa, 11-1 Marcus Andronicus, 14-1 Passager, 25-1 Secret World.