Herculean steps up in trip as he makes Newmarket return

Roger Charlton has a nice prospect in Herculean (John Walton/PA)

Herculean makes his eagerly-awaited return in the Pegasus Profiles Flying Horse Novice Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.

A son of Frankel out of Group One-winning mare African Rose, the Roger Charlton-trained colt made a big impression on his racecourse debut at Ascot last September, but has not been seen in competitive action since.

The three-year-old holds entries in the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh and the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and steps up from seven furlongs to a mile on his seasonal reappearance under Kieran Shoemark.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Herculean’s owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah, said: “He was in over seven furlongs at Newbury, but we felt a mile would be more suitable.

“He has taken a little time to come to hand, but Roger is happy with him now and this will give us a good idea of where we are heading after this.

“Given his breeding and the fact he won well on his debut, he was always going to create a bit of chatter.

“The form of that Ascot race looks pretty solid and the horse himself has done well. He was a bit wintry, but he has come on well.”

Herculean faces 13 opponents over the Rowley Mile and renews rivalries with the Owen Burrows-trained Wadilsafa, who filled the runner-up spot in the same Ascot maiden in the autumn.

Ed Dunlop’s Global Giant, who runs for the first time since winning on the July Course last summer, is another interesting contender.