Richard Fahey is confident Gabrial's Kaka is ready to take his game to another level this season ahead of his tilt at the William Hill Lincoln at Doncaster on Saturday.
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The Dr Marwan Koukash-owned four-year-old won just once from eight appearances last term, but ran arguably his best race in defeat on his final start, finishing runner-up behind John Gosden's subsequent Hollywood Derby hero Seek Again at York.
The son of Jeremy is set to be joined in this weekend's traditional Flat season curtain-raiser by stable companion Hi There, but Brae Hill appears unlikely to make the cut, despite winning the race two years ago and being placed in 2011 and 2013.
After working and parading his trio in front of the press on a William Hill-organised Flat season launch morning, Fahey said: "Realistically, when you're targeting a horse at the Lincoln, the preparation begins early in the year and then you just have to wait and see what the ground is like.
"Gabrial's Kaka is in great order and hopefully he'll run a big race.
"He has the right sort of profile for the race as four-year-old and hopefully he's still improving.
"He'll need to have improved to win it, running off a mark of 95, but we think he has and we're very happy with him at the moment.
"Hi There is probably more of a mile-and-a-quarter horse and wants soft ground.
"It doesn't look like we're going to get that now, but he's fit and well and ready to take his chance.
"The fact Brae Hill doesn't look like getting in shows you how high the standard of the race is now.
"If he did sneak in I wouldn't draw a line though through him, but I'm not sure he's in the same form he has been for the last couple of years as he's missed a bit of work.
"Years ago you could get horses that were unexposed into the Lincoln - now you almost have to be badly handicapped just to get in."
The Fahey-trained trio are among 79 horses to have stood their ground at the confirmation stage, with 19 horses being withdrawn.
Emell and Tinghir are a couple of the more significant absentees.
Market leaders Whispering Warrior, Captain Cat and Irish challenger Paene Magnus all remain.
As expected, the top-weight Penitent was taken out as he is going for the Godolphin Mile in Meydan on Dubai World Cup night.
That leaves the penalised Chookie Royale and Tullius at the head of the list.
For those that do not make the cut, there is the consolation William Hill Spring Mile on the same card.
George Margarson is keeping the options open for Rebellious Guest, who is also entered at Kempton the same day in the Rosebery Handicap and the Magnolia Stakes.
The Newmarket trainer reports the five-year-old to appear in good form after just being out of the money when seventh in the Winter Derby at Lingfield at the weekend, but he is far from a certain Lincoln starter.
Margarson said: "I've left him in the race only because he was very well this morning.
"I'm going to see how he is and decide on Wednesday and I've told Tom (Queally) to take another ride in the race. He's more likely not to go than go.
"He's in the Listed race at Kempton, which looks a stronger race than the Winter Derby, and he's also in the valuable handicap (Rosebery) if I want to go right-handed on the all-weather.
"He'll have just one more race then it's just if he gets in on (all-weather) finals day at Lingfield. He was a bit unlucky on Saturday. If he had got in the frame, you'd be confident of going on Good Friday. I'll just see if he gets in or not.
"At the moment, the Lincoln is a big question mark, and I'll speak to the owners to see what they want to do."