HE’S chalked up at 33/1 for the 2,000 Guineas, an extraordinary quote for a horse not entered in the race. But that anomaly might change, depending on how well Alkumait fares in a major classic trial next month which might encourage connections to supplement him for the race.

The Showcasing colt burst into prominence in the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury in September when he only had to be pushed out in the final furlong to win readily by three quarters of a length, but he could not cope with the soft ground in the October renewal of the juvenile championship that is Newmarket’s Dewhurst Stakes where he was beaten a long way out.

“He won’t run him on heavy ground again,” Marcus Tregoning promised of the near 16 hand colt who had performed well on the Whitsbury grass gallops shortly before the Journal caught up with the trainer to discuss prospects for the season.

“It takes two bits of work to get him right and he worked very well this morning on ground that was absolutely beautiful. My senior work rider was certainly very pleased with him.”

The acid test however comes in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury a fortnight on Saturday.

“I am very confident he will get the seven furlongs there but that of course does not mean he will get that extra furlong for Newmarket. But unless you try, you will not know. I hope he will be more relaxed than last year. That’s the key with him.”

The three-year-old is the yard’s only classic entry this year and even if he wins, Tregoning fears there are others in the Sheik Hamdam ownership that carry better Guineas credentials. Should he fail through lack of stamina, then the valuable Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in June or the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in July will be obvious targets. “He can skip along on the top of the ground. He has plenty of speed.”

Tregoning, who captured the Derby in 2006 with Sir Percy, has about 50 horses at his disposal. There are 16 or 17 two-year-olds, fewer than in 2020 but that is balanced by more older horses being kept in training.

He plans to have first runner of the new campaign in about a fortnight and that might well be Ensyaaby who came close to winning at Salisbury last year on soft ground he detested. Gelded during the winter, he will be kept to seven furlongs or a mile.

The 90 plus rated Perotto will follow a similar pattern. Second on his debut at Goodwood where Tregoning likes to introduce his newcomers, he went on to win at Sandown before being just touched off in a York nursery. He finished his season with a decent third in a huge field at Newmarket.

Tregoning is expecting good times ahead for Tasfeeq who was bred in partnership by the Duke of Devonshire and Duke of Roxburghe. He ran only twice last year, a four length sixth of nine on his Goodwood debut and was then beaten less than three lengths at Newbury, both over seven furlongs.

“He will win his maiden,” was Tregoning’s confident forecast. “He’s a good prospect and ran well in both those races. He will be stepped up to a mile and two furlongs.”

Among the older horses is the consistent seven-year-old Power of Darkness who has won four of his ten races and been placed in two others. “He has had a few training issues but he has always bounced back. He has been going well and will go for good class one-mile handicaps.”

Finally, Tregoning puts in a good word for the unraced Originator who like Power of Darkness is owned by Rupert Villers, a staunch supporter of the hard.

“He’s a nice prospect to have. He has only just started his work but I suspect he will do very well. He is a very good looking athletic individual.”