Stradivarius tops a field of eight declared for the Matchbook Yorkshire Cup on the Knavesmire.
John Gosden’s brilliant and hardy performer took this prize 12 months ago on the way to scooping a million pound bonus in the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million with wins in the Gold Cup at Ascot, the Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup.
He then ended the campaign on a high with a fifth win on the bounce in the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day at Ascot.
Mark Johnston has taken Sagaro Stakes victor Dee Ex Bee out of Friday’s race and relies on Mildenberger – while Godolphin are represented by the Charlie Appleby-trained Ispolini, who was runner-up to stablemate Cross Counter in the Dubai Gold Cup.
Aidan O’Brien saddles St Leger third Southern France – while last year’s runner-up Desert Skyline, from the David Elsworth stable, has another crack at this Group Two prize.
Hugo Palmer pitches Mootasadir back on turf after four victories on the all-weather, culminating in the Magnolia Stakes at Kempton last month.
John Ryan’s pair Aircraft Carrier and Sevenna Star complete the octet.