Connections of Time Test are hopeful the high-class colt can make the most of having his sights lowered in the Sky Bet York Stakes today.
The Roger Charlton-trained four-year-old looked every inch a top-level performer when he dominated the Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer and made a flying start to the new campaign when he won the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown in May.
He has come up short in three previous appearances in Group One company, but ran an excellent race in defeat when third in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown three weeks ago on ground that was softer than ideal.
Charlton said: “I was really pleased with Time Test’s Eclipse run. Before the race, I wasn’t sure I was going to run as it kept raining and it was soft.
“It was a rough old race – there were a few bumps down the back – but I thought he stayed on well.
“I’d like to think on fast ground he’d be better.”
Mahsoob is an interesting contender for trainer John Gosden and owner Hamdan Al Maktoum.
The five-year-old appeared much improved when successful in the Earl of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket in April, but has questions to answer after he beat just one horse home in the Lockinge at Newbury.
The owner’s racing manager, Angus Gold, said: “Mahsoob ran no sort of race last time out in the Lockinge. We have given him a break and John has brought him back gently.”
Air Pilot was runner-up to Mahsoob at Newmarket before he travelled to France to win a Group Three last month. Trainer Ralph Beckett said: “I’m a bit concerned about the ground – some rain would be nice – but if he runs he’s in very good shape. Graham Lee rides for the first time since winning on him on the Rowley Mile a couple of years ago.”