Home Of The Brave aiming to be King of Leicester again
Hugo Palmer's front-runner is using this as a possible stepping stone to next month's Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, where he is set to clash with stablemate Galileo Gold.
After his comeback win a year ago, Home Of The Brave followed up in the Group 3 Jury Stakes at Haydock before twice finishing runner-up at Group 2 level. He signed off with an unsuccessful trip to the Breeders' Cup, finishing 11th in the Turf Sprint at Santa Anita.
Owned by Godolphin, the five-year-old is plenty fit enough for his reappearance after some decent workouts on the Al Bahathri Polytrack in Newmarket this spring.
Palmer said: "Home Of The Brave has wintered well and this race is a nice fit for him before the Lockinge, where we plan to go back to a mile. He likes Leicester, as he showed last year, and hopefully he can win it again."
Of the opposition, fellow Newmarket-trained challenger Tasleet has been through a few hoops since winning three times as a youngster a couple of years ago, including when a late absentee from the recent Craven meeting at Newmarket.
Richard Hills, assistant racing manager to owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: "William Haggas wanted to run Tasleet at Newmarket the other day but he knocked his joint in the box. He ran only twice last year and it will be nice to see him back on the track."
Richard Fahey fields recent Lingfield all-weather finals day runner-up Nimr, who carries the colours of Al Shaqab.
He said: "There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be as effective on turf, and on the best of his all-weather form he wouldn’t be without a squeak as seven furlongs around Leicester should suit him well."
Trainer Luca Cumani struck in handicap company at Newbury last week when Banksea carried off the Spring Cup and is back for more with this lightly-raced son of Pivotal, who may have needed his first run back at Bath recently.
The trainer said: "El Vip has come out of his comeback race, where he ran into two race-fit rivals, very well. He seems to have come on for that and hopefully should be competitive."
He said: "Stamp Hill's in great form but, while he goes on fast ground, I think he’s better with a bit of cut so any rain would be welcome.
"Penwortham is a funny horse who has two ways of running. Seven furlongs round Haydock will be right up his street."