Tom Marquand is “95 per cent certain” to come in for the plum ride on Perfect
Power in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes, replacing the suspended
The Richard Fahey-trained three-year-old was an impressive winner of the Commonwealth Cup on his last visit to Ascot in June.
That success at the Royal meeting was the Ardad colt's third victory at Group One level, adding to his previous top-level wins as a two-year-old in the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes.
Though he has subsequently disappointed as favourite for both the July Cup at Newmarket and on his return to France for the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville in early August, connections are confident he can return to form after a break.
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to the colt's owner, Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum, is hopeful an unsettled midweek forecast will play to Perfect Power's strengths.
He said: “We've hopefully got Tom Marquand booked. William [Haggas] has Jon and Julia Aisbitt's horse [Tiber Flow] in the race. He may run that, but he might just let Tom off to ride ours.
“Tom is very keen to ride ours and we're 95 per cent certain we've got him.”
Soumillion has ridden Perfect Power in his last seven races, winning four times, but is suspended for 60 days following a well-publicised race-riding incident which saw Rossa Ryan unseated at Saint-Cloud on September 30.
The incident cost the Belgian rider his retainer with the Aga Khan. However, he could do little to prevent Perfect Power's defeat in his last run at Deauville.
Raymond explained: “Richard said he'd got a bit sore – not jarred up – just a bit sore. Hopefully the weather will break before the weekend, as he could do with softish ground.
“You never know this time of year. If it came soft, I would be favouring him a lot. Not just because it is Ascot, but because he is fresher than most.
“He is still a three-year-old, but he is a mature three-year-old. I've seen him working and he's good and fresh and he's in top shape.”