Mutakayyef is expected to improve for the run as he warms up for a trip to Dubai in the Betway Winter Derby at Lingfield on Saturday.
The William Haggas-trained six-year-old looked every inch a top-class performer when winning last season's Summer Mile at Ascot and confirmed that impression with placed efforts at the highest level in the Juddmonte International at York and the Woodbine Mile.
He is very much the star attraction as he makes his first start since that Canadian mission last September, but connections have warned he may not be at his very best.
Angus Gold, racing manager for owner Sheikh Hamdan, said: "Everything is good and I believe everyone is happy with him at home.
"He is a horse who seems to be better for a run, mentally as much as physically.
"I'm not saying he's not ready enough to win, but I'm sure whatever he does on Saturday he'll improve from it as he's not the sort of horse you can just point and push - he takes a bit of winding up.
"In a perfect world I think we'd have preferred to run him over a furlong shorter first time out, but there just wasn't a suitable opportunity to do so.
"He does stay a mile and a quarter, but it could be argued that his best form is over a mile, so we'll see what happens.
"Hopefully it's a good starting point and will get him ready for the Dubai Turf, which I believe is the plan."
Mutakayyef must concede weight to each of his nine rivals in the Group Three contest, including defending champion Grendisar.
Marco Botti's charge enjoyed a spectacular campaign last winter, winning the Winter Derby Trial, Winter Derby and Easter Classic.
The seven-year-old has failed to add to his tally in three starts this term, most recently finishing fourth in the Winter Derby Trial three weeks ago, but Botti feels he is now approaching peak condition.
Grendisar is reopposed by trial third Battalion, trained by Jamie Osborne.
Botti said: "Grendisar hasn't quite had things go his way so far this winter. He has been running decent races and the Winter Derby Trial was a very competitive race last time.
"Luckily, the winner and second (Decorated Knight and Arab Sprint) have taken a different road and are going to Dubai and Qatar.
"We are happy with Grendisar, and, to be honest, I think he's in better shape now than he was going into the Winter Derby Trial.
"It took him three races to get to his best last winter and we could not be happier with what we have seen at home.
"Whether it's enough to beat Mutakayyef, who sets a very high standard, we will see."
The only filly in the field is Archie Watson's Absolute Blast, who has won three times on the all-weather but was narrowly beaten when odds-on at Wolverhampton last month.
"Absolute Blast is a nice filly. She has been very progressive this winter and I think she deserves to take her chance," said the Lambourn-based trainer.
"It looks a high-class renewal. You have got last year's winner Grendisar and obviously Mutakayyef, who is a very solid Group Two come Group One horse.
"It is probably as strong a Winter Derby as we have seen recently."
Karl Burke's outsider You're Fired is stretching out to a mile and a quarter for the first time.
Burke said: "He will be stepping up in trip, but we are going to give it a go. He definitely stays nine furlongs and, although I am not sure Lingfield plays to his strengths, hopefully the step up in trip should help temper that.
"He didn't handle Lingfield last time when they quickened up entering the straight, although he was drawn wide that day and had a lot of daylight. We should be able to take our time more over a mile and a quarter, which should be to his liking.
"It is a bit of an experiment but if it does work and he runs well, it also qualifies him for Good Friday as it will be his third run.
"The plan is then to go to the Lincoln at Doncaster and, depending how he goes, we will look at Good Friday."
Convey, Pinzolo, Mythical Madness, Zhui Feng and Solar Deity complete the line-up.
The main supporting race at the Surrey circuit is the Betway Hever Sprint Stakes.
Charlie Appleby's Godolphin runner Pretend has won seven times on the all-weather, including this Listed prize two years ago, and is favourite to regain his crown.
His biggest threat appears to be Dean Ivory's hardened sprinter Lancelot Du Lac, who lines up at the top of his game having followed up a Chelmsford handicap win with victory in the Cleves Stakes hero three weeks ago.
"Everything has been fine with him since his win in the Cleves Stakes," said Ivory.
"We are dropping back to five furlongs, which is a bit on the short side for him, but he needs to run three times to qualify for Finals Day and this will be his third run.
"It looks another hot race, with Pretend in there again. This will be his last outing before Finals Day, as I don't think there is anything else for him."