|Dual G1 winner Angel Bleu is set to begin his campaign in the Listed Spreadex Sports Lady Wulfruna Stakes (2.40pm), the first of two Fast-Track Qualifiers at Wolverhampton on Saturday, March 11.
Angel Bleu was one of Europe’s leading two-year-olds in 2021, taking the G2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood before a memorable G1 double in France’s Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and Criterium International.
The Dark Angel colt ran three times against top opposition last year, most recently finishing fifth behind Baaeed in the G1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
Trainer Ralph Beckett said: “Angel Bleu has been in training all winter and the intention is to start him off at Wolverhampton on Saturday.
“This is not a prep for the All-Weather Championships finals but it is a prep for the rest of the year.”
With a place in the £150,000 All-Weather Mile Championships on offer, the 14 entries also feature Berkshire Shadow and Lusail, who were fifth and sixth respectively in last season’s G1 2000 Guineas.
Lusail twice placed at G1 level afterwards for Richard Hannon, notably going down by a head in the St James’s Palace Stakes, and finished sixth on his four-year-old return in the G3 1351 Turf Sprint at Riyadh.
Hannon has won two of the last three editions of the Lady Wulfruna Stakes, including in 2021 with Mums Tipple, who could line up again.
The trainer said: “I have given Lusail an entry and we will decide whether he runs once I have discussed it with Al Shaqab Racing.
“He has come back from Saudi as good as gold. I thought he ran well out there but it showed he needs a bit further than that.
“He will go on the surface at Wolverhampton no problem and could well take his chance.
“Mums Tipple has the option of the Lady Wulfruna or the six-furlong handicap. He has obviously won the Lady Wulfruna before and would have a good chance in either race.”
Other notable entries include the Charlie Appleby-trained Noble Dynasty, successful in three of his last four starts, and fellow Lingfield Park scorer Dhabab for John & Thady Gosden.
Prolific all-weather sprinter Harry’s Bar is one of two entries for Irish trainer Ado McGuinness. The Roger Varian-trained Tinker Toy will be looking to rediscover the form that saw him beat a field that included multiple G1-winning sprinter Highfield Princess 12 months ago.
The final Fast-Track Qualifier of this season’s All-Weather Championships takes place later on the card, with reigning Marathon championEarlofthecotswolds among nine contenders for the SCU Selects Expert Tips At BetUK Conditions Stakes (4.25pm).
Listed winner Roberto Escobarr could make his first appearance for William Haggas since finishing second in a Fast-Track Qualifier last February, while Richard Hughes has entered Queen Alexandra Stakes third Calling The Wind.
George Boughey’s Totally Charming won the All-Weather Vase Mile Handicap on Good Friday last year and may bid for another valuable all-weather prize in the Spreadex Sports Lincoln Trial Handicap (2.05pm).
A host of last-time-out winners among the 28 entries include the John & Thady Gosden-trained Unforgotten, twice successful at Lingfield Park last month, and Mick Appleby’s War In Heaven, who has won all four of his starts at Wolverhampton this year.