Able Friend has completed the Hong Kong part of his build-up to the Group One Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.
In a Sha Tin barrier trial over 1600m, Able Friend was beaten a short-head by Hong Kong Group Three winner Packing Llaregyb after coming from last of eight runners for jockey Joao Moreira.
“Joao said he’s 85 to 90 per cent there now and with two weeks up our sleeves it’s just right on schedule with how I’ve trained him for his previous big races,” trainer John Moore said.
“All in all I’m very pleased with the outcome of that trial. He’s at the end of his prep so when we get to England it’ll just be a case of fine-tuning him.”
The equal highest-rated racehorse in the world, Able Friend leaves for England on Saturday.
He will be one of the headline horses on the opening day of Royal Ascot on June 16.
Moreira said Able Friend, who heads to Royal Ascot with 12 wins from 18 starts, couldn’t be faulted as he prepares for a clash with French star Solow.
“He’s done extremely well and I think he’s as good as or even better than when he won the Champions Mile, so I’m going to play safe and go with he’s as good as,” he said.
Solow was one of the more impressive winners during the Dubai World Cup carnival, romping to a 4-1/4 length victory in the Group One Dubai Turf over 1800m.
“Based on Solow’s win in Dubai he looks like he’s the main danger to our horse but obviously we’ve got to respect the other horses in the race,” Moriera said.
“But at the same time I’m full of confidence for my horse, he’s been good to me and I have a lot of faith in him.”