Five take on Masar in Princess of Wales's clash

Derby winner bids for Newmarket glory

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Last year’s Investec Derby hero Masar will face five rivals in the Princess of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.

The New Approach colt became the first horse to carry the royal blue silks of Godolphin to victory in the premier Classic at Epsom last season, but a leg injury kept him off the track for the remainder of the campaign.

Charlie Appleby’s charge made his long-awaited return to action in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and was far from disgraced in finishing fifth.

Masar is likely to be a hot favourite to rediscover the winning trail almost three weeks later – despite having a shade over three lengths to find with Sir Michael Stoute’s Hardwicke Stakes third Mirage Dancer.

Mark Johnston saddles Baghdad – a narrow winner of the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at the Royal meeting – as well as Communique.

The Andrew Balding-trained Dashing Willoughby also lines-up on the back of a Royal Ascot victory, having landed the Queen’s Vase.

Desert Encounter from David Simcock’s yard completes the sextet.

The first race on the opening afternoon of Newmarket’s July Festival is the Group Three Bahrain Trophy – a recognised trial for the St Leger.

John Gosden relies on Waldstern to provide him with a record sixth victory in the one-mile-five-furlong contest, while Irish hopes are carried by Aidan O’Brien’s Queen’s Vase runner-up Barbados.

Other hopefuls in a nine-strong field include Michael Bell’s Eagles By Day, Johnston’s Nayef Road and Simcock’s Spanish Mission.

Johnston’s Visinari is the potential star attraction in the Group Two Tattersalls July Stakes.

The son of Dark Angel created a huge impression when making a successful racecourse debut over this course and distance last month and will be well fancied to follow up – with Frankie Dettori taking over in the saddle from Ryan Moore.

The standard is set by Archie Watson’s Guildsman – who was beaten just three-quarters of a length into third in the Coventry Stakes on his latest appearance.

O’Brien’s pair of King Neptune and Royal Lytham, Saeed bin Suroor’s Windsor Castle runner-up Platinum Star and Karl Burke’s Carlisle scorer Classy Moon are also in the mix.

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