Marcus Tregoning is hoping Watheer can put his bad-boy days behind him with a good run in the Qatar Vintage Stakes at Goodwood on Tuesday.
The two-year-old was gelded after his misbehaviour, which included injuring two farriers, but he has been no trouble on the track – as he showed when getting off the mark on his second start at Chelmsford four weeks ago.
Watheer, who carries the colours of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, is by Leroidesanimaux, who also sired the Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom.
Tregoning has won this prestigious juvenile prize with Ekraar in 1999 and Sir Percy in 2005 and feels Watheer deserves his chance at this level, although he has the outside draw to overcome.
“He’s obviously got the widest draw. Jim (Crowley) will have to drop in and ride for a bit of luck,” said the Whitsbury handler.
“We don’t know how good this horse is because I don’t have the strength of two-year-olds I used to have, but he couldn’t have done anything more when he won well at Chelmsford last time.
“He got a bump, but we thought he’d win that day and his work has been very good since. I just hope he’s good enough to run well.
“Leroidesanimaux is the sire of Animal Kingdom, one of the top horses in America.
“I would think possibly maybe his stock is better on faster ground, I don’t know, but this horse has never looked like the ground being an issue to him.
“He was a bit quirky. He actually hit a couple of farriers and put them in hospital. He was gelded subsequently before then. In the long term that will be good for him.
“It’s difficult to tell. If he doesn’t run the way we hope he is going to run then we’ll try a different track, let alone drop down in grade, but at the moment he looks progressive.”
Zaman is the most experienced of the 11 runners, having won two of his four starts.
The Godolphin-owned colt was a respectable fourth on his first try at seven furlongs in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket’s July meeting.
“He is progressing with each run and has come out of the Superlative Stakes well,” trainer Charlie Appleby told www.godolphin.com.
“His win at Pontefract earlier in July has received a couple of form boosts.
“Zaman has to improve again and we have added blinkers for the first time to assist him.”
Al Shaqab Racing’s Sallab opened his account at Epsom and his trainer Richard Hannon believes the son of Havana Gold has moved forward since then.
“He won despite the track last time and appears to have improved since then,” the Marlborough handler told www.richardhannonracing.co.uk.
“He is a lovely big colt but this is a big step up for him. If he could finish in the first three I would be delighted.”
Aidan O’Brien relies upon Seahenge, who made a winning debut at Naas, as he seeks to take this race for the third time in four years.
There is also a French raider in the Eoghan O’Neill-trained Cold Stare, who is unbeaten thanks to victories at Maisons-Laffitte and Saint-Cloud.