Winner of the French Derby and the Eclipse earlier in the year, the Churchill colt went on to finish third after encountering trouble in running in last month’s Irish Champion Stakes.
Jean-Claude Rouget’s charge dispelled doubts about his stamina by pushing Sir Mark Prescott’s Alpinista all the way in Paris on Sunday and it has now been confirmed he will return in 2023, with a trip to Royal Ascot viewed as a potential stepping-stone to the Arc next year.
Speaking on Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast, owner-breeder the Aga Khan’s racing manager Georges Rimaud said: “We felt he was unlucky in the Irish Champion and he was beaten in the Arc in very deep ground, so we felt he needed to get another chance in it.
“He answered all the questions – he can stay and he doesn’t mind the ground – so we felt the right thing to do was give him another chance next year.
“I think it’s the right decision. I think the horse will strengthen more and I think he will have a very good year next year.
“We will probably start with a race in France – the Prix Ganay or something like that. Then we could maybe aim for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and then see how we bring him to the Irish Champion and then the Arc, something of that nature with all the variations in between.
“It all depends really what other horses will be running next year and how the horse is. There’s a lot of ifs and buts during a horse’s career, but the trainer mentioned those races on Sunday.”