Roger Varian believes a repeat of Barsanti’s run at Ascot in May will give him every chance of being competitive in today’s Princess of Wales’s Arqana Racing Club Stakes at Newmarket.
The six-year-old was an odds-on winner of the Listed Buckhounds Stakes first time out this season but could only finish fourth of five in the Hardwicke Stakes back at Ascot in June.
While that was a step up in class, Varian admitted he expected better.
“Barsanti has come out of his run in the Hardwicke Stakes in good shape - he looks well and is training well,” said Varian.
Nothing has come to light to explain his performance in the Hardwicke, where he was right there turning for home but did not finish off the race as we would have liked. Even so, he was not beaten very far.
“I can’t see any reason why the July Course will be a problem and the combination of a mile and a half and fast ground ought to suit him pretty well.
“It looks a warm renewal - it’s a competitive race. Barsanti put up a strong performance when just beating Mirage Dancer at Ascot in May and a repeat of that would see him right in the mix.”
Mirage Dancer reopposes for Sir Michael Stoute, but the highest rated runner in the field is Saeed bin Suroor’s Best Solution.
Second in a German Group One last year, he was a winner at the Dubai Carnival earlier this campaign.
“Best Solution needed a break having been quite busy at Meydan earlier in the year,” said Bin Suroor.
“After he ran in Dubai, we gave him a break and it has been the target for him to start here this season.
“His best form to date has been on easy ground, but he seems to handle a faster surface these days, and we will just have to see how he fares on it.
He is already a Group Three winner, so a prestigious Group Two race like this one is a good starting point for him.
“He has been working well, is in good form and we’re looking for a good run from him.”
Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s colours will be carried by both Laraaib and Muntahaa with Andrew Balding’s Duretto, David Simcock’s Algometer and John Gosden’s three-year-old Raa Atoll also running.
Meanwhile, Accidental Agent will run next in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on August 8.
A popular winner of the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, the four-year-old will now attempt to beat the best in Europe away from home.
Johnson Houghton had been considering dropping her stable star in class for the Summer Mile at Ascot this weekend, but that plan was shelved.
A return to Ascot for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions Day remains his main objective.
“We’re going to go straight to the Jacques le Marois now,” said Johnson Houghton.
“He’s not really ground dependent so that’s got nothing to do with it, I just thought I’d give him a little bit more time. If he’d run this weekend it would have been just over three weeks (since Royal Ascot)
“Everything has been fine since the Queen Anne.”