FRANKIE Dettori will ride Moheet with Gregory Benoist on The Wow Signal in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.
Both colts are owned by Al Shaqab Racing and the Italian, who last won the Classic in 1999 with Island Sands, appears to have gone for potential over proven form.
The Richard Hannon-trained Moheet has only won a maiden, but ran a race full of promise in the Craven Stakes when third behind stable companion Kool Kompany.
The Wow Signal won the Coventry Stakes and Prix Morny last season and had excuses when disappointing on Arc day at Longchamp.
“At this stage the intention is to run both of them,” said Harry Herbert, Al Shaqab’s racing manager. “I think Frankie rides Moheet with Gregory Benoist coming over to ride The Wow Signal but that could change, obviously,
“We were very pleased with Moheet in the Craven and expect him to come on a good bit for the run. As for The Wow Signal, John Quinn is very happy with him and he’s going there as something of a forgotten horse. He was sick when he ran in France at the end of last season.”
Roger Varian and owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum have supplemented impressive Newbury winner Intilaaq at a cost of £30,000.
Third on his debut at Ascot last September, he showed the benefit of a winter on his back when bounding clear of some decent rivals to win by eight lengths on his return to action.
Varian could also run last season’s Dewhurst winner, Belardo, but there would need to be a give in the ground for him to take his chance.
The Newmarket handler told his website, www.varianstable.com: “Intilaaq won at Newbury like a very good horse and he has trained beautifully since. He has natural speed to be comfortable at a mile but also has the stamina to stay further, which should stand him in good stead in a 2000 Guineas. He is a colt we have always held in high regard and feel he deserves to take his chance in an open-looking race.”
As expected, Godolphin also paid to supplement the André Fabre-trained Territories, an impressive winner of a Group Three recently. Fabre could also run Make Believe and all the Ballydoyle big guns stood their ground, with Aidan O’Brien leaving in ante-post favourite Gleneagles, Highland Reel, Ol’ Man River and War Envoy.
Hannon has left in Estidhkaar, Ivawood and Kool Kompany along with Moheet.
Muharaar, Dutch Connection, Home Of The Brave, Nafaqa and Freddy Head’s Ride Like The Wind are among the 28 colts going forward for the mile showpiece.
Qatar Racing are responsible for Racing Post Trophy winner Elm Park, while one notable absentee was Dermot Weld’s Zawraq, who runs in the Sheikh Hamdan colours.
Ger Lyons hopes to be double-handed with Cappella Sansevero and Endless Drama, although ground conditions could play their part. The former had a fine two-year-old season, finishing runner-up to The Wow Signal in the Coventry and a close fourth in the Middle Park, while Endless Drama won his maiden before reappearing behind the classy Zawraq at Leopardstown last month. Lyons said: “They are both in at the moment and are in good form, but we will have to see what the ground is like. “Cappella Sansevero may turn up if it’s good to firm, but if it’s too quick for Elm Park then Endless Drama won’t run either.”