Grand Alliance has options at home and abroad following his impressive John Porter triumph last month.
The highly-talented Charlie Fellowes-trained gelding has often looked to have Group race-winning potential, but has been his own worst enemy at times as he has been seen to hang left in the closing stages of his races.
That cost him a Royal Ascot success when he just missed out in last year’s King Edward VII Stakes, losing crucial ground to the benefit of Changingoftheguard before going down by a short head.
He returned from his winter break to contest the Group Three John Porter Stakes at Newbury and was an 18-1 chance under James Doyle, making his two-and-a-quarter-length victory something of an upset as Max Vega, Mojo Star and Hurricane Lane all came home behind him.
Signs of his quirks were still visible as he veered left in the final furlong furlong, but he had the race in the bag at that point and could not jeopardise his own success.
Fellowes expects the bay, who was bred and is owned by Susan and Paul Roy, to have a slightly quieter campaign this season as Royal Ascot and meetings across the Channel are pencilled in.
The trainer said: “He’s good, we always give him a little bit longer than just your average horse to get back into a routine but he seems in good order.
“I’ve given him an entry for the Hardwicke (at Royal Ascot) and he will get entries in France as well, in the Grand Prix de Chantilly.
“We will pick our way, he’s taken his race well but I’d say we’ll probably spread his races out a little bit more this year. He was quite a busy boy last year and I think he might be a little bit better a bit fresher.”
The Newbury success was particularly welcome after the gelding’s near-misses in the past, especially as his owners are significant supporters of not only Fellowes’ yard, but of the sport more broadly as they own the in-form Charlie Hills duo of Garrus and Orazio.
“It’s satisfying any time to win a nice race like that, especially when they’re a bit quirky and they take a bit more training than your average horse,” said Fellowes.
“It was a good team effort from everyone at home and especially as he’s a homebred, he was bred by Susan and Paul, it was extra special for them.
“The mare, Endless Love, has been absolutely incredible and it capped off a brilliant week for them with Garrus winning a Group Three (Abernant Stakes) and Orazio winning the big handicap at Newmarket.
“They are flying, which is particularly satisfying to see because they’ve been such big supporters of mine for a long time now. It was a fantastic result, especially so early on in the year.”