Thundering Blue progressed at a rate of knots last season (John Walton/PA)David Menuisier is happy to be dropping back to 10 furlongs for the John Smith’s Cup with Thundering Blue after an experiment over further at Royal Ascot did not pay off.

A hugely impressive winner at York on his penultimate outing, he was ridden by Frankie Dettori in the 12-furlong Duke of Edinburgh Stakes in Berkshire, but never threatened.

Menuisier believes there were several reasons for his disappointing display, but is pleased to be returning to a course and distance with which Thundering Blue is familiar.

“He has won four races over this distance and always looks like he’ll go further. That’s why it was interesting to step him up in trip for Ascot to try to find some improvement,” said Menuisier.

“But there were quite a few circumstances that day that made him run as he did, really.

“He was drawn very wide, which doesn’t really suit the way the horse has to be ridden. He was just shuffled back too far.

“And the ground was too quick for him, I thought. The ground dried out dramatically throughout the day as it was quite warm and windy.

“Also, the track possibly didn’t suit him perfectly well.

“I still don’t know whether he stays a mile and four. But I am more than happy to go back to a mile and a quarter because he is proven over it.

“He is a winner over course (York) and distance, so obviously we know that there won’t be any surprise there.”