Dual Group One-winning sprinter A Case Of You warms up for a trip to Royal Ascot in the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday.
The four-year-old sparked scenes of wild celebration in the ParisLongchamp winner’s enclosure after landing the Prix de l’Abbaye in October and doubled his top-level tally in the Al Quoz Sprint in March.
Connections considered heading straight to the Royal meeting, but trainer Ado McGuinness feels an outing in this weekend’s six-furlong contest will be beneficial ahead of next month’s showpiece meeting.
“We let him down and gave him a little break after his run in Dubai and he’s come back in good form,” said the Lusk-based trainer.
“He has to give a penalty away to some very good horses, but you don’t give a penalty away for nothing and we’re hopeful of a very big run and roll on to Ascot after it.
“We decided we wanted to get a run in first. We did the same before we went to Dubai and then got another run in before World Cup night and it worked well.
“With a horse like him you want to win them all, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
“He’s in very good form and we’re expecting a very big run.”
A Case Of You faces two British challengers in Hugo Palmer’s Brad The Brief and the Archie Watson-trained Glen Shiel.
Brad The Brief was a clear-cut winner when the pair met at Haydock a fortnight ago, but connections of Glen Shiel are anticipating an improved performance.
The eight-year-old won the Phoenix Sprint Stakes over this course and distance two seasons ago before going on to win the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot, a race he finished second in last year.
Simon Turner, director of racing for owners Hambleton Racing, said: “He’s come on nicely for his first run of the year, the cut in the ground will suit him and we’re going to put the blinkers back on which we feel will be a help too.
“We’d expect him to post a better performance than he did on his first run of the year.
“As an older horse it’s a case of taking a run or two to be at concert pitch, I’m sure we’ll see a better version of Glen Shiel on Saturday than we did in his first race.
“He’s a horse who thrives on his racing and running him here will help him be in peak condition for Ascot, we expect him to step up on whatever he did at Haydock.
“He’ll be in the Platinum Jubilee after this, this was his first run of the season last year so it’s nice that we’ve already got a run into him.”
Joe Murphy saddles last year’s winner Gustavus Weston, while the Ger Lyons-trained Power Under Me steps up in class after a Listed success in the Cork Stakes.
Denis Hogan’s pair of Make A Challenge and Majestic Colt, the Johnny Murtagh-trained Urban Beat and Mooneista from Jack Davison’s yard complete the field.