Caravaggio to wait for Ascot
Aidan O'Brien confirmed Caravaggio is likely to sidestep the French 2000 Guineas on Sunday and instead target the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
The Scat Daddy colt won each of his four starts as a juvenile, including impressive displays in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh, but has yet to make his three-year-old debut.
He was left in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains at the latest entry stage on Thursday, but O'Brien confirmed at Chester he is very unlikely to make the journey to Deauville and could instead warm up for his Ascot assignment in the Lacken Stakes at Naas on May 21.
O'Brien said: "It's looking like he won't go to France and he'll be kept to sprinting.
"We'll run Peace Envoy and Orderofthegarter, but Caravaggio is likely to start off in the Lacken Stakes at Naas.
"He's rapid, he really is, and we've never even tried to see how far he'll stay. He's got so much speed it wouldn't be fair.
"He's the only horse I've ever seen that actually stumbles when he quickens and he does it so quick.
"If all goes well at Naas then we'd look at Ascot, but I see no point in taking on his elders when we don't have to, so it would be the Commonwealth Cup."
As well as Peace Envoy and Orderofthegarter, Whitecliffsofdover was also left in the French 2000 Guineas by O'Brien.
The Michael Dods-trained Kings Gift has been supplemented for the race at a cost of almost 40,000 euro.
The Casamento colt made a promising start to his three-year-old career when fourth in last month's Greenham Stakes at Newbury.
That form has been well advertised since with the winner, Barney Roy, finishing runner-up in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket while the second, Dream Castle, was fifth in the Rowley Mile Classic.
Dods said: "It looks a very tough race, but he's in good form and Geoff (Turnbull, owner), who also has Mondialiste, likes to have a go."
"If he can pick up some black type, we'll be delighted."
Fifteen colts are still in contention ahead of Friday's final declaration stage, with Charlie Appleby's Salsabeel, the William Haggas-trained Rivet and South Seas from Andrew Balding's stable the other potential cross-Channel raiders.
A final of field of 18 fillies has been declared for Saturday's French 1000 Guineas – the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches.
O'Brien saddles Roly Poly (Donnacha O'Brien), Rain Goddess (Wayne Lordan) and Smoulder (Padraig Beggy), while William Haggas sends Cristal Fizz (Gerald Mosse) and Sea Of Grace (Christophe Soumillon).
Simon Crisford's Asidious Alexander (Mickael Barzalona) is the only other British-trained participant.