John Gosden believes Without Parole is still improving as he prepares to put his unbeaten record on the line in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
The son of Frankel has already made giant strides this season, progressing from a minor novice victory at Yarmouth in April to claiming Royal Ascot glory in the St James’s Palace Stakes less than two months later.
He faces his elders for the first time in Wednesday’s feature event and Gosden feels his charge is ready for the challenge.
He said: “Without Parole is in great form and has been working nicely.
“We are pointing towards the Sussex with him and will take it from there.
“There is no doubt that he is progressing all the time and is a horse that will get further in time.”
Without Parole is one of four three-year-olds in the eight-strong field along with Gustav Klimt, Expert Eye and Orbaan.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Gustav Klimt was beaten half a length into second place in the St James’s Palace Stakes and renews rivalries, while Sir Michael Stoute supplemented Expert Eye following his resurgent performance in the Jersey Stakes.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Expert Eye’s owner Khalid Abdullah, said: “We’re looking forward to it and it’s obviously interesting for us, taking on a son of Frankel, who is very dear to our hearts.”
Grimthorpe added: “I think this horse (Expert Eye) deserves his place following his really good performance at Ascot. We’ve always felt he was a horse with huge potential.
“He’s only had one run over a mile once before, in the 2000 Guineas, and I think we can forgive him that.”
Orbaan is an interesting contender for Andre Fabre. The French challenger faces a big step up in class following a Listed win at Saint-Cloud.
Ted Voute, racing manager to Orbaan’s owner Prince A A Faisal, said: “Andre Fabre told me that the horse worked very well during his latest piece of work. It is fingers crossed.
“It is a big leap from winning a Listed race in France to the Sussex Stakes. There was the option of the Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood on Friday, but we thought there would only be eight or nine runners in the Sussex and both Prince Faisal and Andre Fabre wanted to take a chance.”
The older brigade includes David Simcock’s Lightning Spear, who has won the Celebration Mile at Goodwood in each of the last two seasons and was beaten just a length into third place in the Sussex Stakes 12 months ago.
So far this term, the seven-year-old has finished a short-head second in the Lockinge and third in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot and jockey Oisin Murphy feels he deserves to get his head in front at the highest level.
Speaking ahead of another leg of the Qipco Champions Series, he said: “This horse needs to win a Group One because he’s the most beautiful physical specimen with a good temperament and the pedigree.
“If we can get a Group One in the UK, he would deserve his place at stud and, realistically, he would be an exciting stallion prospect.
“He’s been freshened up since Ascot and is in super order. As he gets older, he’s not losing any ability.”
Andrew Balding’s Beat The Bank and David O’Meara’s pair of Lord Glitters and So Beloved complete the field, although the latter is set to run in Tuesday’s Lennox Stakes.