Harry Dunlop is looking forward to seeing his stable star Robin Of Navan make a rare appearance on home soil in the bet365 Earl Of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket on Wednesday.
The four-year-old has run 21 times since making his debut at Kempton three years ago and 17 of those appearances have come on foreign soil, including 15 in France.
Each of his five victories to date have come across the Channel and he made an encouraging start to 2018 when third behind Hunaina, the subsequent winner of the Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes at
Kempton, in a conditions race at Chantilly last month.
Dunlop said: “We were very pleased with his first run of the year. It was a bit of a funny race and it was pleasing to see the winner come out and win the Snowdrop.
“He ran well over the same trip in the Group Three at Newmarket in October (second in Darley Club Stakes). James Doyle rode him that day and rides him again tomorrow, which is great.
“Conditions should be fine for him and we’re hopeful of a nice run.”
Robin Of Navan features in a nine-strong field and perhaps has most to fear from Aidan O’Brien’s Deauville, who has his sights lowered after three consecutive outings at Group One level.
Other contenders include David Elsworth’s Winter Derby hero Master The World, Richard Fahey’s Forest Ranger and Frankuus from Mark Johnston’s yard.
The Clive Cox-trained Snazzy Jazzy puts his unbeaten record on the line in the bet365 European Free Handicap.
The Red Jazz colt claimed his third win from as many starts in a valuable sales race at the Curragh in September and makes his seasonal reappearance on the Rowley Mile.
Cox said: “He seems in very good form and he’s really pleased me with his work in the last few weeks.
“I see no reason why he won’t handle the track and we’re looking forward to running him.
“He has an unblemished record so far and we should learn a lot more about him.”
Finniston Farm is a fascinating contender for Tom Dascombe.
The Helmet colt made a big impression on his racecourse debut at Haydock last May, after which the Cheshire-based handler stated he was “possibly as good a horse as I’ve had.”
He was beaten less than three lengths into sixth place by Gustav Klimt in the Superlative Stakes last July and has not been seen in competitive action since.
“He ran well in the Superlative when he probably wasn’t quite the finished article,” said Dascombe.
“We gave him a nice break after that, he’s had no problems since he came back in and seems in good form.
“I wasn’t sure where to start him. He probably wants a mile, but this race (over seven furlongs) looks a nice starting point and we’ll see how he gets on.
“He’s a horse we like and he’s in good shape.”
Kevin Ryan’s Hey Jonesy concedes weight all round, but sets a high standard after finishing fourth in the Middle Park Stakes on his final two-year-old start.
The Charlie Hills-trained Nebo is also in contention.