Luca Cumani’s one-time Cox Plate hopeful Afsare will make a long-awaited return for the high profile international trainer in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2000m) at Royal Ascot tonight.
The six-year-old was set to add some international flavour to last year’s Cox Plate before injury ruled him out after his arrival in Australia.
Cumani is yet to indicate whether he will again aim Afsare at the $3 million weight-for-age test but is hopeful he can make a successful return to the track tonight (12:45 am Thursday AEST).
The son of Dubawi hasn’t raced since last August when he was second in the Grade 1 Arlington Million Stakes in the US.
“Afsare has been working extremely well at home and should like the reported good ground, so fingers crossed he will give a decent performance,” Cumani said on his website.
The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes was won by superstar So You Think last year and it has again attracted a start-studded line up.
Cumani admits Afsare faces a tough ask to return as a winner, pointing to Tattersalls Gold Cup quinella Al Kazeem and Camelot as the main rivals he will have to overcome.
“He faces a tough field of proven horses including the formidable Al Kazeem whose impressive win in the Tattersalls Gold Cup last month has earned him a Timeform rating of 127,” Cumani said.
Al Kazeem is a $3.30 favourite to win the feature race, with Afsare rated a $26 chance.
One runner very familiar to Australian racing fans is globetrotter Red Cadeaux who was second in the 2011 Melbourne Cup and eighth last year.
Red Cadeaux has been in strong form in 2013, with major highlights being a runner-up finish in the Dubai World Cup and a third-place effort in the Group 1 Tenno Sho in Japan.