Nayef Road aims to bounce back from a disappointing trip to Saudi Arabia in the Racing TV Conditions Stakes (7.30pm) at Kempton Park on Saturday, March 12, the final Fast-Track Qualifier of this season’s All-Weather Championships.
The classy stayer trailed home last of the 14 runners in the Red Sea Turf Handicap at Riyadh a fortnight ago, having finished a close fourth in another Marathon Fast-Track Qualifier at Kempton Park in early February.
Trained by Charlie & Mark Johnston, Nayef Road won the rearranged G3 Sagaro Stakes at Newcastle in June 2020 before chasing home Stradivarius in both the G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and G1 Goodwood Cup.
The Galileo entire continued to show glimpses of his best form last year, most notably recording a six-length victory in the Listed Rose Bowl Stakes at Newmarket in September.
Charlie Johnston said: “Nayef Road ran disappointingly at Riyadh, when everything went wrong for him at the start really – he missed the break completely and was on the backfoot from then on.
“At the same time, it was still a disappointing run, which means we have shelved plans to take him to Dubai.
“He has come back from Riyadh in good order and, even though this is a last-minute plan, it would be nice to get him qualified for Finals Day.
“He has won a Sagaro Stakes over the course and distance of the final and, in a valuable race like that, he would be a big player with his rating.”
Earlofthecotswolds lines up in his third Marathon Fast-Track Qualifier of the season for Nigel Twiston-Davies. The eight-year-old, a six-timer winner over jumps, made the frame in similar contests at Wolverhampton and Kempton Park before scoring by seven lengths in a 12-furlong maiden back at Kempton Park on February 23.
Andrew Balding has won two editions of the Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships and the Kingsclere trainer could have another contender in Coltrane. The 2020 Melrose Handicap victor has been freshened up since finishing fourth under top-weight in a course and distance handicap in January.
The five runners also include in-form mare Trinity Girl, who is chasing a three-timer following handicap wins at Newcastle and Chelmsford City for Jessica Macey. Olly Murphy’s Strong Glance completes the field.