Enable and Crystal Ocean remain on course for a mouth-watering clash at Ascot after all 11 entries stood their ground for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
John Gosden’s Enable is bidding for her 11th successive victory in Saturday’s midsummer highlight. The dual Arc heroine claimed this prize in 2017 and will be a hot favourite to regain her crown following her impressive reappearance in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown three weeks ago.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Crystal Ocean appears her biggest threat. The son of Sea The Stars was narrowly beaten by stablemate Poet’s Word in last year’s renewal and returns at the top of his game after completing a hat-trick for the season in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Stoute is bidding for a record seventh King George victory.
Aidan O’Brien has four victories in the race to his credit and this year launches a four-pronged assault – with Investec Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck joined by Hunting Horn, Magic Wand and Norway.
Roger Varian’s Defoe has won the Coronation Cup and the Hardwicke Stakes on his two most recent starts, while Andre Fabre’s Waldgeist carries the hopes of France. Fabre saddled the last French-trained winner in Hurricane Run 13 years ago.
There is further international interest in the form of Japanese raider Cheval Grand.
The field is completed by Andrew Balding’s Morando and Sylvester Kirk’s stable star Salouen.