Trueshan, Kyprios and Stradivarius all appear among 13 confirmations for Thursday’s Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.
Alan King’s Trueshan has been denied the opportunity of running in the race in his career to date as he has yet to get his preferred soft surface, but wins at Ascot on Champions Day for the previous two seasons, in the Goodwood Cup and the Prix du Cadran have advertised his ability.
However, with the going already good, good to firm in places, King will want to see some rain.
Kyprios is the new kid on the block for Aidan O’Brien. Having become upset in the stalls at the meeting 12 months ago he was not seen again until winning the Vintage Crop Stakes and he subsequently followed up in the Saval Beg.
O’Brien has also left in Cleveland and Worsdworth.
If the ground is unsuitable for Trueshan it is likely to be in the favour of John and Thady Gosden’s old stager Stradivarius, who has seen it all before and proved he was no back number when winning the Yorkshire Cup on his reappearance.
Ralph Beckett’s Prix Royal-Oak winner Scope, Tony Mullins’ mare Princess Zoe and the St Leger runner-up Mojo Star are all in the mix still.
Coral narrowly favour three-time winner Stradivarius (9-4 from 5-2), ahead of Kyprios (5-2 from 3-1).
“We know Stradivarius will be extremely popular with punters next Thursday, so Frankie Dettori’s mount is a worthy Gold Cup favourite, although Kyprios has been the biggest ante-post mover,” said Coral’s David Stevens.
“By contrast, Trueshan looks unlikely to get his preferred softer ground if the forecast proves correct, so Alan King’s charge is eased to 7-2.”
The Gosdens’ Emily Upjohn, so narrowly denied in the Oaks last week, could turn out quickly in the Ribblesdale Stakes and she is one of 12 left in the Group Two.
O’Brien can choose from four, Emily Dickinson, History, Lily Pond and The Algarve, who also ran in the Oaks, as did Joseph O’Brien’s Tranquil Lady.
William Haggas’ Sea Silk Road was a winner at Listed level last time out while stablemate Perfect Alibi, owned by the Queen, is also improving.
Jessie Harrington’s Magical Lagoon and Roger Varian’s Mukaddamah are others to note.
The Queen’s Reach For The Moon, one-time favourite for the Derby, is among 16 entries in the Group Three Hampton Court Stakes.
Andrew Balding’s Derby runner-up Hoo Ya Mal is a possible opponent, as is Charlie Appleby’s unexposed Ottoman Fleet.
The Norfolk Stakes has attracted 23 juveniles which include Wesley Ward’s filly Love Reigns and stablemate Seismic Spirit.
There are 38 in the King George V Handicap, including Derby also-ran Grand Alliance, with 49 entered in the Britannia over a mile for three-year-olds and 69 engaged in the Buckingham Palace over seven furlongs.