Mark Johnston's Elarqam is now said to be "90 percent certain" of heading for the Group Juddmonte International at the York Ebor meeting next week.
The four year old son of Frankel has said to be a Group One horse in the making all season and especially on his last few runs he has shown the potential he holds and is well worth a chance in his toughest contest to date.
The Hamdan Al Maktoum owned colt has raced five times this season, winning three of them and placing nicely in another which came at Royal Ascot in a Listed event.
Two of his wins have also come in Listed races between 1 mile and 1 mile 2f but what he produced last time out, really makes him a big improver and one to take seriously in a race like the Juddmonte International.
In the Group 2 York Stakes on the Knavesmire, which was set to be his toughest test of his career, he produced a career best to go on and win the contest beating some smart horses that hold strong form lines this season.
Although a Group one is another big test for Elarqam taking on the likes of Prince of Wales’s Stakes winner Crystal Ocean and St James’s Palace Stakes runner-up King Of Comedy, being a son of Frankel gives him huge respect and especially going into a race his sire has previously won.
(Credit At The Races) Angus Gold, racing manager to Hamdan Al Maktoum said: “When Sheikh Hamdan was here for Goodwood he said that as long as Mark and his team were happy with the horse this week, he thought we would probably supplement.
“The answer is he’s 90 per cent certain to be supplemented. Obviously it’s a lot of money (£75,000) and we need to confirm with Mark nearer the day, but as of this morning they were happy with him.
“His form was given a nice boost at the weekend by Addeybb. Elarqam was visually impressive at York, I can’t believe Addeybb quite ran his race, but that’s just my opinion.”
He added: “There’s no Enable, but there’s Crystal Ocean, who is an outstanding horse, and King Of Comedy has always looked like he wanted this trip and that’s without Aidan (O’Brien) joining in, let alone anybody else. It’s always a very good race.
“It will be tougher than anything he has encountered since the Guineas. Nobody is saying for a second he will win it, but on the other hand he’s entitled to run.”