Flying French star Almanzor looks set to return to Ascot in June for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The Jean-Claude Rouget four-year-old stole the show on QIPCO British Champions Day in October, beating Found and Jack Hobbs among others in the QIPCO Champion Stakes over 1m 2f.
The decision to head to Ascot rather than the Arc at Chantilly was justified as Almanzor made it five wins in a row and is aiming for two more Group 1 successes before the end of June.
Despite not hitting full training just yet in 2017, Rouget admits the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp before that are in sight.
"The main target for Almanzor during the first half of the year is the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and he will prep for that in the Prix d’Ispahan," Rouget told the Racing Post.
"I’m not too worried about the distance between the two races (24 days) and in any case I don’t really have a lot of choice.
"The programme dictates where we go at this stage and then there will be decisions to be made after that.
"He has done well physically over the winter but he has done nothing yet in the way of fast work, he has just been cantering.”