Investec Derby candidate Telescope could have a racecourse gallop at Lingfield this week if he emerges unscathed from a workout in Newmarket on Sunday.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt missed his intended seasonal reappearance in the Dante Stakes at York last week after grazes on his legs became infected.
Telescope, who is owned by Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, was put through his paces on the Limekilns gallop in Newmarket, working in company with an older stablemate.
Highclere’s Harry Herbert reports Stoute to be satisfied with the gallop and Telescope could now go to Lingfield on Wednesday with the Epsom Classic still in their sights on June 1.
“Sir Michael has called me and he seemed very pleased,” said Herbert.
“We’ll just see how he is before we move on to the next step. If he comes through this OK, we’ll take him to Lingfield on Wednesday where he will have his racecourse gallop.
“As long as Sir Michael is happy with him tonight and tomorrow morning, that will be the plan.
“As if there is not enough pressure surrounding a British Derby candidate, this has just added to the stress of it all really. There’s still a chance he could make the Derby but we’ll just take it day by day.”
Telescope is as low as 6-1 with some firms for the Derby.
Celestial Halo (10-1) turned in a magnificent display to win the Gras Savoye Corporate Life Prix La Barka at Auteuil.
The nine-year-old, trained by Paul Nicholls and owned by Andy Stewart, shaped best in the torrential rainfall to claim his first victory since January 2012.
Last season’s World Hurdle runner-up was a close-up second as Lord Prestige led after the last, but Daryl Jacob’s mount showed characteristic bravery to get up at the line.
Thousand Stars, who won this Grade Two 12 months ago, appeared very unhappy early on but stayed on to take fourth spot, with Tidara Angel in third.
Willie Mullins dominated the Gras Savoye Pasteurdon Prix Questarabad at Auteuil when Blood Cotil outgunned Diakali in the Grade Two over hurdles.
The latter was always to the fore under Ruby Walsh, but was let down by a wayward leap at the last.
This helped the Paul Townend-ridden Blood Cotil seize the day along the run-in at odds of 8-1.
Le Grand Luce (7-4 favourite) was third, with fellow Mullins inmate Viconte Du Noyer taking fifth spot.
Voleuse De Coeurs got back on the winning trail in the Coolmore Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan.
Dermot Weld’s filly won the Irish Cesarewitch by 10 lengths from Missunited last season, and those two again fought out the finish in this Listed race over a mile and six furlongs.
Voleuse De Coeurs was disappointing behind El Salvador on her seasonal return at Limerick, but left the 5-4 favourite back in third on this occasion.
Steps To Freedom was slightly squeezed up by the winner a furlong out but was ultimately well beaten in fourth.
Pat Smullen was still forced to keep Voleuse De Coeurs (7-4) up to her work but she eventually won going away.
Weld said: “I see her as being very progressive and possibly an outstanding stayer. I thought she would win and this is a race I wanted to win.
“She was very good over staying distances last year. She is entered in the Ascot Gold Cup but that might be a bit soon for here.
“She could go for the Curragh Cup and then the Irish St Leger, and she could be a Gold Cup horse next year. Conditions were perfect for her as she always wants a little ease in the ground.”
Hopes continue to rise that Snow Fairy could make her reappearance in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The six-time Group One-winning mare looked as good as ever when winning the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown last September, but she was ruled out for the rest of the campaign after suffering a tendon injury, missing possible targets such as the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Breeders’ Cup.
Owner Cristina Patino confirmed the six-year-old would return to training in 2013 and, having pleased Dunlop since returning to his Newmarket base, he is looking forward to seeing her back on the racecourse.
Dunlop said: “She did her first little bit of fast work on Friday and if she’s ready, we’d like to take her to Royal Ascot.”