American raiders Extravagant Kid and Maven are ready for their clash with Battaash in Tuesday's Kings Stand Stakes.
The former, trianed by Brendan Walsh, touched down in England on Tuesday having not been seen out since registering a first Grade One success under Ryan Moore in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in March.
Speaking from Newmarket’s Abington Place Stables, James Bredin, racing manager for owner DARRS, Inc., said: “Extravagant Kid is doing great. I flew out to Dubai to saddle him, and he looks the same now as he did then. He is eight years of age now, so he is a great traveller. I think the key to shipping a horse is that you have to keep them eating and drinking – and he has done all that.
“We opted for the King’s Stand Stakes because Ryan [Moore] felt the strong uphill finish over five furlongs would really suit him. It probably plays like a six-furlong race anyway, but if it turns out we have got it wrong, we will blame Ryan!
"Obviously, we are all waiting to see whether Battaash makes it, but I think the King’s Stand looks a pretty open race. I think it would suit us if Battaash turns up as he has one way of going and our horse definitely needs something to aim at.
"Extravagant Kid is a quirky old horse and wasn’t really finishing off his races until recently. He ran a super race at the Breeders’ Cup to finish fourth from the widest draw, when he was never able to save any ground. If you look at Trakus, he ran something like 28 feet further than Glass Slippers and was beaten just over a length.
"His owner David Ross claimed him out of a race at Gulfstream three and a half years ago. In America, you put your claim slip in before the race is run, so you don’t really know how things are going to work out. The horse was 20/1 that day and it has turned out to be a very astute claim. Mr Ross is over here now, quarantining in London, and is really looking forward to having his first Royal Ascot runner."
Maven is one of nine intended runners at the meeting for pioneering US-based trainer Wesley Ward, who has sent out 11 of North America’s 12 Royal Ascot winners. Ward’s first success came courtesy of Strike The Tiger in the 2009 Windsor Castle Stakes.
Ward said: "The horses have settled in really well and I feel I have a strong squad. They have all proven worthy of bringing over, thanks to the performances back home, and now it is just a question of whether they are good enough. They are certainly going to bring their A-game to the table, although whether that is up to the level of their competition, we are going to find out.
“When Maven ran in an allowance race at Keeneland in April, we felt he was a bit short fitness-wise. On the day he bounced out in front and when they came to him, I thought he was going to surrender, but he just took off again. I was delighted and then once I saw the numbers, it inspired me to put him on the team for Royal Ascot. He will have to move forward from that again to be in the mix for the King’s Stand Stakes, but I think he is entitled to do so.”