Hermival takes Guineas test
Mikel Delzangles will rely on outsider Hermival as he bids to win the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket for the second time on Saturday.
The trainer saddled 33-1 shot Makfi to win the first British Classic two years ago and Hermival is available at the same odds.
Makfi warmed up for his trip to Headquarters by winning the Prix Djebel at Maisons-Laffitte and Hermival was not disgraced in finishing third in the same Group Three contest at the start of this month.
Delzangles also has Dragon Pulse engaged in the 2000 Guineas at this stage, a horse who lowered the colours of Dabirsim at Longchamp on his seasonal return, but he will instead head for the French equivalent.
"Dragon Pulse is staying at home and going for the French Guineas, but Hermival will run at Newmarket," said Delzangles.
"I was happy with his run at Maisons-Laffitte and I think he has improved a lot for that, so we are looking forward to running him.
"It is too early to compare with him Makfi - it is very difficult.
"But he is in good form and he won't mind if the ground is soft."
Joining Hermival on his cross-Channel journey will be his top-class stablemate Dunaden, who is bound for the Qatar Bloodstock Jockey Club Stakes.
The six-year-old enjoyed a spectacular end to 2011, winning the Geelong Cup and the Melbourne Cup in Australia before dropping back in distance to land the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin.
Delzangles wants to know whether he is up to competing against the very best mile-and-a-half horses in Europe this season.
He said: "He is in very good form and has had a nice, long break after his winter campaign.
"I am looking forward to seeing him run again. I'm not sure what the field will be like, but I imagine it will be a strong race.
"We want to learn more about him."