Weight will not be a problem for Andrea Atzeni as he looks forward to keeping the ride on Wesley Ward's US raider Golden Pal in the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York on Friday week.
As a two-year-old Golden Pal has an official weight of 8st 1lb for the race, and Atzeni, who was on board when beaten a neck by The Lir Jet in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, has not ridden below 8st 4lb in the last 12 months. But the Italian believes it will not be an issue thanks to the allowances for back protectors and saunas being out of action due to Covid-19.
Atzeni and Golden Pal blazed a trail at Royal Ascot in June before being overhauled by The Lir Jet and could well serve it up to the mighty Battaash in the receipt of 24lb on the Knavesmire.
In common with the other Ward-trained runners at the royal meeting, Golden Pal returned to the US after Ascot and is set to fly in next Wednesday.
Atzeni said: "I will have no problem with doing the weight on Golden Pal as with our 3lb allowance for back protectors and now a 3lb allowance for no saunas, I need to be at the scales at 8st 7lb. I'm usually around the 8st 3lb mark, so it will be no problem and I'm very much looking forward to it."
On his prospects of turning over Battaash on the Knavesmire, Atzeni added: "Don't get me wrong, Battaash is the best sprinter in the country and will be tough to beat, but if it comes up good ground or quicker at York it will suit Golden Pal and he will take some pegging back.
"He would have won at Royal Ascot on a sounder surface but it was soft that day and the American horses don't act on it the same."
Golden Pal, generally 8-1 fourth favourite, will attempt to become the first two-year-old since Kingsgate Native in 2007 to win the all-aged sprint test.