View from connections ahead of the 666bet Bunbury Cup at Newmarket on Saturday.
Luca Cumani teams up with Frankie Dettori once more as Ayaar goes for glory in the 666bet Bunbury Cup at Newmarket.
The two Italians go way back with Dettori first making his name in the UK as an apprentice for Cumani.
Their association has been renewed now due to Dettori's link up with Al Shaqab Racing, who own Ayaar, one of the favourites for the famous handicap.
He has run well in each of his three starts for Cumani since switching from the care of Mick Channon and drops back to this seven-furlong trip after finishing fifth over a mile in the Royal Hunt Cup.
"Frankie and I have always got on well, but when he was with Godolphin he didn't take many outside rides," Cumani said.
"He knows Ayaar well and I don't think that he will need any riding instructions.
"He was fairly unlucky at Ascot. It's difficult to say where he would have finished but he would probably have been challenging for one of the first three places, that's certainly what Frankie thought.
"It has always been the plan to run in this race and originally I thought that his rating would guarantee him a place in the field. In the end we have had to sweat over it and have been lucky to sneak in at the very foot of the weights.
"These races are not just a straightforward equation (of what weight you carry). You need a lot of luck in running and a lot depends on how the race develops.
"I think Ayaar is just as good at this trip as over a mile. He ran a very good race beforehand in the Victoria Cup.
"He is a very straightforward horse, who is easy to train and is a pleasure to have around.
"He has done well since Ascot."
Ante-post favourite for the race has been Roger Varian's Horsted Keynes after his luckless run in the Buckingham Palace Stakes, but the recent rain at Newmarket has placed his participation in doubt.
"Horsted Keynes is a progressive horse - he ran a great race at Ascot and is a four-year-old on the up," the trainer told www.varianstabes.com
"I will speak to his owners, but at this stage I would say he is an unlikely runner unless the ground dries out considerably."
Jamie Osborne offered similar sentiments for Hunt Cup winner Field Of Dream, who also won this race 12 months ago.
"We could have done without the rain and he wouldn't be a certain runner to be honest," he said.
"We'll see how it rides on Friday and take a view in the morning.
"We could leave him until the International at Ascot in a fortnight and at this stage I'd say that is what we'll probably do.
"It could dry out quickly, though, so we won't do anything hasty."
Andrew Balding believes Absolutely So, who was a big disappointment when a major gamble for the Wokingham, will be suited by softer conditions, although stablemate Zanetto could be a doubt due to the ground.
"I was glad it rained, he's got decent form on soft ground," said Balding.
"He's in good nick but was a major disappointment at Ascot, but that was because of the fast ground we think.
"I've no idea why he was so well backed there when we had major reservations about the ground.
"He's in good form and I'm hoping for a good run.
"As for Zanetto, he doesn't like it soft and isn't a certain runner."
Richard Hannon's Professor steps up in trip having run well with a big weight in the Wokingham at Ascot and he lines up off his old mark.
"Professor produced a career-best performance to finish second in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot and went up 3lb, but he can run off his old mark (108) in the Bunbury Cup, and we know he is equally effective over seven (furlongs) as he is six," the handler told www.richardhannonracing.co.uk.
Three horses who have already been taken out are Dean Ivory's Sirius Prospect, Marco Botti's Don't Bother Me and Ed Vaughan's Redvers.