Big guns set for 2000 Guineas
Ante-post favourite Kingman heads 17 runners still in contention for Saturday's QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket at the five-day confirmation stage and jockey James Doyle can't wait for the big day.
John Gosden's colt has headed the market since extending his unbeaten run to three in impressive fashion in the Greenham Stakes on his seasonal reappearance.
Doyle has only had the plum job of riding for leading owner Khalid Abdullah since halfway through last season and weeks like this are what it is all about for the well-respected jockey.
The Greenham was just the third race of Kingman's life, and Doyle felt everything went like clockwork in his trial.
"I'm looking forward to it," he told At The Races. "I've not sat on him since the Greenham - Rab Havlin rides him in all his work and sits on him every day, there's no need for me to go there.
"I rode him at Sandown (Solario Stakes) and then went for a sit on him before the Greenham so I know him well enough now. He was very good at Newbury but his ability has never been in question, it was purely to get a run under his belt. It's all systems go."
Gosden has stated since the Greenham that Kingman would not run on unsuitably quick ground but that now looks unlikely after clerk of the course Michael Prosser applied five millimetres of water to the track on Monday.
There is also rain due in the area on Thursday, potentially anything between four to six millimetres. The going is currently described as good to firm.
Aidan O'Brien is set to throw down a strong challenge to Kingman by running both Australia and War Command while Giovanni Boldini and Oklahoma City are also entered.
Australia had been winter favourite for the Classic but lost that position when Kingman reappeared with a brilliant performance in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury earlier this month.
The vibes coming out of Ballydoyle regarding the son of Galileo and Ouija Board, two of the best racehorses of modern times, have been strong for some time, and O'Brien is also likely to call on Dewhurst winner War Command, who had been a possible for the French equivalent a week later.
O'Brien said: "We are happy with both Australia and War Command and it looks like both will run on Saturday. We'll finalise things after they go through all their tests on Wednesday. That's the way we're thinking at the moment."
Toormore, last season's champion two-year-old, spearheads a three strong team from Richard Hannon in his first season with a licence and he could be joined by Night Of Thunder and Shifting Power.
Roger Varian's Racing Post Trophy hero Kingston Hill brings a solid profile to the table, while the William Haggas-trained Ertijaal, victorious on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield on Good Friday remains in contention for William Haggas while Godolphin look set to rely on Outstrip.
Spanish challenger Noozhoh Canarias remains on track to challenge for the season's first Classic while there are two entries from France in Bookrunner and Charm Spirit with Freddy Head bullish about Prix Djebel scorer.
Kevin Ryan's The Grey Gatsby, David Elsworth's Master The World and Marco Botti's Lat Hawill are the other possibles.
Among those taken out were Berkshire, Be Ready, True Story and Sudirman.