First-season trainer George Scott is looking forward to seeing Hamelin step up to two miles for the first time in the £19,000 32Red.com Conditions Stakes (2.55pm) at Lingfield Park on Saturday, January 23.
The Polytrack contest, which has attracted 12 entries, is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 32Red All-Weather Marathon Championships Conditions Stakes over the same course and distance on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 25.
Hamelin has been runner-up in 12-furlong Listed races on the Polytrack of Kempton Park on his two most recent appearances and was beaten two and a quarter lengths when trying to make all in the 32Red.com Wild Flower Stakes on November 25.
The six-year-old was caught near the line by Missed Call, having also raced prominently, in the 32Red Floodlit Stakes on November 4 and captured a Tapeta handicap over the same distance at Wolverhampton on October 17.
Newmarket-based Scott commented: “We are looking forward to stepping Hamelin up in distance at Lingfield on Saturday. I would certainly be optimistic that he will stay the trip – you can never be confident until they run but, if a horse is going to get two miles somewhere, you would think that it would be at Lingfield.
“He ran over a mile and three-quarters on the turf at Haydock last season but the ground had gone that day and he had a terrible draw. He was out the back and George Baker looked after him after his chance had gone – he was beaten a long way out and it was nothing to do with the trip.
“His dam Love Divine was an Oaks winner and his half-brother Sixties Icon won a St Leger, so all of the signs point to him staying, and the way he races should also help him.
“We will have a look at what else is in the race and I will make a plan with Stevie Donohoe but he has made the running recently and I think that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
“He is a horse who enjoys bowling along in front and I wouldn’t want to be caught out of my ground coming down the hill at Lingfield with a big horse like Hamelin, so I would imagine that he will be prominently positioned again.
“We are aiming him at All-Weather Championships Finals Day. There is a lot of money on offer and he is a horse who loves the All-Weather, so the Marathon looks the next natural step providing he stays on Saturday.”
Charlie Appleby took the 32Red.com Conditions Stakes 12 months with Anglophile, who went down by a head in the 32Red All-Weather Marathon Championships Conditions Stakes on Good Friday.
The Godolphin handler has also entered the 108-rated Pinzolo, who scored on his latest start in a Chelmsford City conditions race in May but has yet to race over two miles.
Blue Surf (Amanda Perrett) won a competitive 12-furlong handicap on Derby Day at Epsom Downs last year, while Sizzler (Ralph Beckett) may make his first appearance since finishing third in the marathon Ascot Handicap at Royal Ascot in 2014.
Other notable entries include Kempton Park 11-furlong handicap victor The Steward (Sir Mark Prescott), the hat-trick seeking Gang Warfare (Simon Crisford) and Castilo Del Diablo (David Simcock), who was fourth in the 2014 32Red All-Weather Marathon Championships Conditions Stakes.