Breton takes on Godolphin trio
David Simcock wants a few of the forecast showers to arrive at Newmarket to aid Breton Rock's bid for back-to-back wins in the Betway Criterion Stakes.
A classy operator over seven furlongs, he ran right up to form at Haydock last time when beaten just over a length by Absolutely So with a 5lb penalty.
"We hope it's as soft as it can be," the Newmarket handler told www.davidsimcock.co.uk.
"He goes in good ground and runs his race on it, it's just that soft ground inconveniences others more than it does him.
"Saturday's trip of seven furlongs is perfect. He gets the mile, and can certainly pick up the pieces in races over the distance, but he is a seven-furlong specialist.
"We generally go to a mile when there's a lack of options at seven furlongs
"I was very pleased with his last run at Haydock. He has run better there than he did at Newbury.
"He was only beaten a length – take into account the 5lb penalty and that puts him on front."
Breton Rock faces three challengers in the Godolphin blue – Home Of The Brave, Richard Pankhurst and Jungle Cat.
Home Of The Brave has not been seen since he won a Listed race at Leicester in April and is another horse who is at his best over seven furlongs.
Trainer Hugo Palmer said: "I've been delighted with how Home Of The Brave has trained since missing the opportunity to win back-to-back Jury Stakes.
"He has a very good record on both Newmarket tracks and, while he has twice finished first on ground softer than good, I'm hoping the ground will continue to dry for him as he has a very low action."
John Gosden's Richard Pankhurst, who beat Home Of The Brave in the Hungerford Stakes last year, makes his seasonal reappearance.
"Richard Pankhurst has been off for a long time so he will benefit for the run and is a better horse on fast ground," said Gosden.
Charlie Appleby's Jungle Cat has just his second run over the trip.
"I am looking forward to seeing how he gets on over seven furlongs as it might open up a few options for him," Appleby told www.godolphin.com.
Roger Varian is expecting a big show from Mount Logan in the Listed Betway Fred Archer Stakes over a mile and a quarter.
"He's in good form and the track and ground should suit him," said Varian.
"He's got form on good to soft and it looks like he should run well.
"I thought he ran perfectly fine at Goodwood (third in the Festival Stakes).
"He would go on any ground, this horse, but I think on good to firm he probably wants a mile and a half as he just got outpaced down the hill at Goodwood.
"I think the mile and a half is his optimum trip."
Goodwood Listed winner Second Step and Midterm, who drops in grade after having twice disappointed at Newbury this season, have also been declared.
The Betway Empress Fillies' Stakes has attracted a big field, with several candidates having skipped Royal Ascot in preference for this Listed prize.
Richard Hannon runs Tajaanus and Campion and has high hopes for both horses.
He said: "Tajaanus won nicely at Newmarket considering nothing went to plan.
"She missed the break and ran around plenty in the dip before staying on strongly late on.
"She has learnt plenty from that experience and should run a big race. We had always planned to miss Ascot and give her a bit more time.
"Campion is a nice filly who ran very well at Epsom where she didn't handle the track.
"She comes here with a good chance of getting some black type and I am hoping she can put her experience to good use."