The second of three Fast-Track Qualifiers staged in France during the All-Weather Championships takes place at Cagnes-sur-Mer on Saturday, February 20.
The winner of the Listed Prix Saonois (3.15pm UK time, 11 runners) will be guaranteed a start in the Bombardier All-Weather Mile Championship at Lingfield Park on Finals Day, Good Friday, April 2.
Group 3 scorer Kenway (Frederic Rossi/Pierre Charles-Boudot) is the class act after mixing it with some of Europe’s best three-year-olds in 2020 – the Galiway colt finished fifth behind Victor Ludorum in the G1 French 2,000 Guineas and sixth behind Pinatubo in the G1 Prix Jean Prat.
Kenway transferred that form on to the All-Weather in the closing months of last year, with two victories at Deauville headed by a neck success in the extended seven-furlong Listed Prix Luthier on December 12.
The four-year-old did not enjoy the smoothest run when upped in distance for the 10-furlong Listed Grand Prix de la Riviera Cote d'Azur at Cagnes-sur-Mer on February 14, in which he finished third.
Pauline Chehboub, racing manager for owner Haras de la Gousserie, said: “Kenway has come out of the race in very good shape. We hope to win, but he is not always luckiest in his races.
“My preferred distance for him is a mile. He is better than he was able to show last time and I just hope he has a nice trip because I think he is the best horse in the race.
“It is a possibility that he will go to Lingfield for Finals Day. We will have to wait and see, but it could be an objective for him.”
One of the chief dangers is Wally (Jean-Claude Rouget/Jean-Bernard Eyquem), a Listed winner on turf who made an impressive All-Weather debut in a conditions race over the course and distance on February 1.
The placed horses Canagat (Georgios Alimpinisis/Theo Bachelot), a three-time All-Weather scorer for Archie Watson, Wonder Boy (Edouard Monfort/Stephane Pasquier) and Rocquemont (Christophe Escuder/Anthony Crastus) all reoppose.
Chantilly handicap scorer Pentaiade (Gerald Mosse) makes her debut for Charley Rossi, while the familiar colours of John Deer will be carried by Makzeem (Hiroo Shimizu/Gregory Benoist), a winner at Deauville last month