Hot favourite Ghaiyyath is set to face just four rivals in a mouthwatering renewal of the Juddmonte International at York.
Charlie Appleby’s charge is bidding to complete a Group One hat-trick, following terrific front-running victories in the Coronation Cup at Newmarket and the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.
“We had a front-runner in Meydan (in the Dubai Millennium Stakes in February) thinking we’d be happy to take a lead, but they just aren’t quick enough to be able to lead him,” Appleby told the Qipco British Champions Series.
“As a three-year-old, he also had a pacesetter (Stage Magic) in the Prix du Prince d’Orange and we sat in behind him, but he could only do it for so long.
“If something wants to go a gallop and we can sit in behind, we’d be just as happy. He’s got a long stride and it’s more a matter of letting him get into his own comfortable rhythm.”
Ghaiyyath is unlikely to have things all his own way on the Knavesmire, with three of his opponents also winners at the highest level.
The Andrew Balding-trained Kameko claimed Classic glory in the 2000 Guineas in early June, since when he has finished fourth over a mile and a half in the Derby at Epsom and fourth over a mile in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
The son of Kitten’s Joy tackles the intermediate distance of a mile and a quarter for the first time this week in the hands of champion jockey Oisin Murphy, who was critical of himself at Goodwood.
Lord North is a major contender for John Gosden, judged on his brilliant display in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Aidan O’Brien, who won the race for a joint-record sixth time with Japan 12 months ago, relies on the top-class mare Magical – a six-time winner in Group One company.
The small but select field is completed by the Mark Johnston-trained Musidora Stakes winner Rose Of Kildare after Roger Charlton’s Aspetar was declared a non-runner on Monday evening.
The York Stakes winner was taken out after returning unsatisfactory blood results.