Bonfire bids to bounce back
Bonfire will bid to get his career back on track in the Dubai Duty Free Conditions Stakes at Newbury on Friday.
The highly-regarded four-year-old gelding disappointed on his last start when last of seven to Danadana in the Huxley Stakes at Chester in May after a promising effort on his reappearance in the Earl of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket, where he was third to Mull Of Killough.
However, last year's Dante Stakes winner has been pleasing trainer Andrew Balding on the gallops and hopes are high he can show his true form in the nine-furlong contest.
"It certainly looks the right race for him - the conditions of the race, the ground being on the easy side will suit him and Andrew Balding reports him to be in very good form at home," said Harry Herbert, managing director of owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing.
"It's an eagerly-awaited return to action by all of us. It looks the right spot for him to have a chance of being competitive.
"He's been going well at home and going back in trip might suit him as there is an awful lot of speed on his dam's side.
"Looking at the competition we would hope he'd be in with a shout."
Bonfire faces five rivals, including Mujazif, whose trainer Brian Meehan is looking for a change of tactics to give the only three-year-old in the line-up a change of luck.
"Shamardal colt has been lightly raced and could not get going early enough to make a telling challenge at Haydock," read a statement posted on www.brianmeehan.co.uk.
"He is up in grade here, but could still make an impact providing he can begin his effort earlier."