Charlton watches skies
Leading Qipco 2000 Guineas contender Top Offer remains on course for the Classic after pleasing trainer Roger Charlton in a workout on Tuesday.
The Dansili colt was hugely impressive on his sole juvenile start in a Newbury maiden and he will head to Newmarket with just that run under his belt after soft ground prevented him running in last weekend's Greenham Stakes.
Charlton elected to conduct the rest of the three-year-old's preparations at home and with the strong work now done, the Beckhampton handler is just hoping to keep his charge in one piece for the next 10 days.
"We worked him yesterday with his normal lead horse. It was just routine stuff, but I was very happy with how it went," said Charlton.
"All the hard work is done for him now. It's just a case of keeping him ticking over between now and Saturday week - we're freewheeling from here on in."
Charlton is hoping the current wet spell subsides before too long as Top Offer would clearly be better suited by a sound surface at Headquarters.
He said: "The sun is out at the moment, but we've had a fair dollop of rain this morning and we're going to get more tomorrow I believe and it could continue into the weekend.
"Looking at the long-range forecasts, it could dry up by next Tuesday or Wednesday, so let's hope that's the case."
Fencing is set to make the Guineas despite missing an intended prep run in the Craven last week.
The Racing Post Trophy third pleased trainer John Gosden in a workout with stablemate Masked Marvel on Newmarket's July Course on Tuesday morning.
Gosden was granted permission to work the duo because both are likely runners in Group races at the Guineas Festival, with Masked Marvel being aimed at the Qatar Bloodstock Jockey Club Stakes.
The pair worked over just short of a mile, with William Buick on St Leger hero Masked Marvel and Nicky Mackay aboard Fencing.
"Fencing went nicely and we are still hoping to get him to the 2000 Guineas. I was pleased with how he went," said Gosden.
"A toe clip went into his foot and he was sore, so we had to sit out the Craven meeting. But he is back in good form now and there is no reason why he wouldn't go straight there.
"I was pleased enough with Masked Marvel. It was just a little on the soft side for him, so we want some drying weather to ensure his participation in the Jockey Club Stakes.
"We very much want to run him - it's been the plan all winter."
Fencing and Top Offer were among 26 left in the 2000 Guineas following the latest scratchings' deadline.
Ante-post favourite Camelot, emphatic winner of the Racing Post Trophy, is one of three possibles from Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle stable with National Stakes winner Power and Furner's Green.
Greenham winner Caspar Netscher is on course for the Classic for trainer Alan McCabe while Craven scorer Trumpet Major heads five hopefuls from the Richard Hannon stable.
Godolphin have left in Mandaean, who joined Mahmood Al Zarooni's string after an easy success in the Criterium De Saint-Cloud when trained in France by Andre Fabre, and Mighty Ambition.
Jim Bolger has two remaining entries headed by Dewhurst Stakes winner Parish Hall and Ballysax Stakes scorer Light Heavy.
Born To Sea, three-parts brother to 20009 winner Sea The Stars, has been left in by Currabeg handler John Oxx.
A strong potential French challenge is headed by the first three home in the Prix Djebel at Maisons-Laffitte on April 5 - French Fifteen, Abtaal and Hermival. The latter's trainer Mikel Delzangles also has Dragon Pulse, who ended Dabirsim's 100% record in the Prix Fontainebleau.
In the Qipco 1000 Guineas a day later, the O' Brien-trained Maybe is among 24 fillies standing their ground.
Other interesting entries include her stable companions Homecoming Queen, Up and Wonderful, but O'Brien has taken out Wading, who was prominent in the ante-post betting.
The Irish could have other strong contenders among which are Ger Lyons' Lightening Pearl and David Wachman's Fire Lily while Godolphin have two leading candidates in Discourse and Lyric Of Light.