Richard Fahey is optimistic Sands Of Mali will be back to his peak to defend his crown in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot later this month.
The sprinter owned by Phoenix Thoroughbreds and The Cool Silk Partnership posted a career-best performance to spring a 28-1 surprise in the six-furlong Group One last autumn at the main expense of Harry Angel.
The Panis colt has shown nothing like that form in his three races this year at Meydan, Hamilton and Royal Ascot, but Fahey believes his star sprinter is returning to his best.
“We’re very pleased with him, he came back from Ascot a little bit sore, a few little niggly problems that we’ve sorted,” said the Musley Bank handler.
“He always works well, he’s an exceptionally good work horse. We’re happy and where we want to be at this stage.
“To be honest, I’m not sure what else is turning up there at the moment, but I just feel that if we get our lad back, then I’m not too worried about anything.
“It was high on the priorities for this year, but we do need to get him back bouncing, which we’re not far off now.”
The Champions Sprint forms part of the Champions Day card at Ascot taking place on 19th October.