Dee Ex Bee retains Newmarket option following Curragh disappointment

Mark Johnston’s charge one of 10 in contention for the Princess of Wales’s Stakes

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Investec Derby runner-up Dee Ex Bee is among 10 confirmations for the Princess of Wales’s Arqana Racing Club Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.

Mark Johnston’s charge ran a fine race to chase home Masar in the premier Classic at Epsom last month, but could only finish seventh when well fancied for the Irish Derby at the Curragh last Saturday.

Connections now have the option of making a swift reappearance in the Group Two feature on the opening day of the July Festival.

Speaking at Sandown on Friday, Johnston said: “He was already in the race, but I’ve left in him at the latest confirmation stage and we will see how he is.

“I’ve not seen the race at all and it is probably not the primary plan, but if you are not in it, you can’t run in it.”

Should Dee Ex Bee line up on the July Course, his potential opponents include Roger Varian’s Barsanti, the John Gosden-trained pair of Muntahaa and Raa Atoll and Mirage Dancer from Sir Michael Stoute’s yard.

Aidan O’Brien’s sole contender is recent Curragh handicap winner Lucius Tiberius.

Group Two honours are also up for grabs in the Arqana July Stakes earlier in the afternoon.

The six-furlong contest has attracted 21 juveniles, with O’Brien responsible for five in Land Force, North Wind, Sergei Prokofiev, The Irish Rover and Van Beethoven.

Leading hopes for the home team include Martyn Meade’s Coventry Stakes runner-up Advertise and Richard Hannon’s unbeaten colt Urban Icon.

Thursday’s proceedings get under way with the Group Three Bahrain Trophy, which has long been considered a leading trial for the St Leger.

O’Brien is again mob-handed, with a six-strong Ballydoyle squad headed by Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Also among 16 entries at the six-day stage are Tim Easterby’s Wells Farhh Go and Charlie Appleby’s course winner Loxley.

Dee Ex Bee retains Newmarket option following Curragh disappointment
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