Dettori on board Memory again
Magical Memory bids to continue his resurgence in the bet365 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.
The 2015 Stewards' Cup hero graduated from handicap company to Pattern level with honours last season, winning the Abernant at Newmarket and the Duke of York Stakes, before being narrowly beaten in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot.
It is fair to say things have not gone smoothly since, with the Charlie Hills-trained grey disappointing in the July Cup and the Sprint Cup before the end of the last campaign, and while he made an encouraging start to this season when runner-up in the Duke of York, he was the last horse to finish on his return to the Royal meeting last month.
He enjoyed a confidence-boosting victory, albeit a narrow one, in a conditions race at Haydock a fortnight ago and steps back up in class for this Group Three test, with Frankie Dettori returning to the saddle.
Hills said: "We were pleased enough with him at Haydock and he's been in good form since. We're not sure what happened at Ascot. We've just put a line through it.
"We've had this race in mind since Haydock and I think the ground will suit him.
"Frankie gets on well with him and knows him well, so fingers crossed he runs a big race."
Hugo Palmer fires a twin assault, with recent Chipchase Stakes winner Koropick joined by high-class stablemate Gifted Master, who makes his first appearance since running on Dubai World Cup night at Meydan at the end of March.
"Koropick has to carry the penalty for winning the Group Three at Newcastle, so I suppose he has to actually run 3lb above his mark. But he's really improved in the last six weeks after a slightly sticky start to the year and looks a million dollars," said the Newmarket handler.
"He has to prove he's effective on soft turf as he was on the all-weather at Newcastle, but his action suggests it should suit him and I've always felt it would.
"We put blinkers on Gifted Master in the Godolphin Mile, just to give him some gate speed that would hopefully help him get to the front end. Four or five others had the same idea and they went very quick.
"He got a bit sick after he came back from Dubai, but he's always gone well fresh and what he's doing at home would suggest he's at his best.
"The two of them are rated the same and while they won't both win unless there's a miracle, I'm going into it thinking they both have winning chances."
David O'Meara sends Intisaab back into action just a week after he finished seventh – beaten only four lengths – in the July Cup at Newmarket.
The six-year-old was previously beaten just a head by Koropick at Newcastle.
O'Meara said: "He ran very well last week and came out of it well.
"I wasn't surprised by how he ran. He was unlucky the time before in the Chipchase and he's a good horse.
"The faster the ground the better for him."
The William Haggas-trained Raucous was favourite for the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot and was not disgraced in finishing eighth.
"He's fine and this looks a nice race for him. He ran a very good race at Ascot and remains in good form," said Haggas.
"I think the forecast rain will suit him and it might not suit Magical Memory, who in the past hasn't been at his best on soft ground. However, the rain might bring a few of the others into it, we'll just have to see."