Crystal Ocean heads a field of nine declared for the Juddmonte International at York on Wednesday. By P.A
The five-year-old, winner of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, returns to a mile and a quarter after just losing out to Enable in an epic duel for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The son of Sea The Stars is likely to start a warm favourite to add to his trainer Sir Michael Stoute’s record tally of six wins in the Knavesmire showpiece.
Stoute also runs Regal Reality, who was third to Enable in the Eclipse and fourth to Elarqam in the Group Two Sky Bet Stakes over this course and distance last month.
Elarqam, trained by Mark Johnston, bids for glory having been supplemented at a cost of £75,000.
Aidan O’Brien is two-handed with Grand Prix de Paris victor Japan and Circus Maximus, runner-up to Too Darn Hot in the Sussex Stakes and earlier winner of the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
King Of Comedy, second that day, represents the formidable John Gosden stable while David Menuisier’s Thundering Blue will try to replicate the effort that saw him take third place 12 months ago.
International flavour is supplied by the Japanese runner Cheval Grand, who was not disgraced when sixth to Enable in the King George on unsuitably soft ground.
The David O’Meara-trained Queen Anne Stakes winner Lord Glitters completes the line-up.
Enable was withdrawn, as expected, to wait for the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday.
The other two horses taken out at the 48-hour final declaration stage were the O’Brien-trained pair of Magical and Anthony Van Dyck.
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