Roger Varian is considering a trip to Germany with Defoe before making a final call on the Prix de l’Arc Triomphe.
The four-year-old has been held back over the last few months after the warm weather left the ground too firm.
Defoe was last seen when coming home third in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May, having claimed back-to-back wins earlier in the year to take his career total to seven in 11 outings.
Varian believes his charge is capable of challenging in the Arc in October, however, he still wants to test Defoe in strong company.
The trainer is now likely to send his charge to Baden-Baden for the Group One mile-and-a-half on September 2.
Varian said: “We are training him for the Grosser Preis von Baden at Baden-Baden.
“Ground is a big thing for him and it is just the fast ground we want to avoid.
“He won the Jockey Club Stakes on good ground earlier in the year and he obviously handles soft ground very well, but fast ground is what we want to avoid.
“Absolutely we think he is still an Arc horse as he has got of some of the best middle-distance form around from earlier in the season. If he does get soft ground he is very good on that.”