Logician will face a maximum of 10 rivals when he puts his unbeaten record on the line in the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster next Saturday.
The Frankel colt has been hugely impressive in winning each of his four starts to date and emerged as a red-hot favourite for the season’s final Classic with a comprehensive victory in the Great Voltigeur at York on his latest appearance.
Logician will on Saturday bid to provide trainer John Gosden with a fifth St Leger success – following his previous triumphs with Shantou (1996), Lucarno (2007), Arctic Cosmos (2010) and Masked Marvel (2011).
Aidan O’Brien already has six victories in the Town Moor showpiece to his credit, having struck gold with Milan (2001), Brian Boru (2003), Scorpion (2005), Leading Light (2013), Capri (2017) and Kew Gardens (2018).
The Ballydoyle handler has whittled this year’s potential team down to six, with Sir Dragonet and Il Paradiso his two chief contenders.
Sir Dragonet finished a close-up fifth when favourite for the Investec Derby at Epsom in June, but was beaten at odds-on when he returned from a midsummer break in the Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh last month.
Il Paradiso, on the other hand, is set to line up off the back of a career-best performance in third behind star older stayer Stradivarius in the Lonsdale Cup at York. The O’Brien squad is completed by Barbados, Norway, South Pacific and Western Australia.
Sir Ron Priestley has won five of his six starts this season – his only blip coming at Royal Ascot. Mark Johnston’s charge is unbeaten in three subsequent appearances and is set to step up to Group 1 level for the first time.
Martyn Meade’s Geoffrey Free winner Technician and Dashing Willoughby from Andrew Balding’s yard complete the acceptors.
Gosden is hoping the Doncaster showpiece will prove the perfect test for Logician. “He has been in great form since York,” said the Newmarket trainer.
“He is a very relaxed character and he has a lovely big, long, loping stride. I thought (back in May) this might be a Leger horse. He has come a long way in a short time. The nice long straight at Doncaster should suit him well.
“But it will not just be Aidan and our one horse – there are other horses in play, and I’ve mentioned one that won at Goodwood (Sir Ron Priestley). It has more depth to the field than people are making out.”
Aidan O’Brien is responsible for 10 of 18 confirmations for the Pommery Champagne Stakes on the same card.
Armory appears more likely to run in the National Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday, but retains the option of a trip to Town Moor a day earlier – as does stablemate Arizona, among others from Ballydoyle.
Richard Hannon has a strong hand for the home team, having left in Mums Tipple and Threat, as well as Man Of The Night.
The former was a stunning winner of a big sales race at York’s Ebor meeting, while Threat was a close second at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood before winning the Gimcrack Stakes on the Knavesmire.
The once-raced Royal Crusade is an interesting contender for Charlie Appleby, as is Juan Elcano for the Kevin Ryan stable and Molatham for Roger Varian.
The latter was a neck second to Mums Tipple at Ascot before winning the generally-informative Convivial Maiden at York.
O’Brien is also represented in the Hird Group Park Stakes, through Never Mo More, who was last seen finishing fifth in the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park in Chicago.
Further Irish representation comes in the shape of the Dermot Weld-trained Imaging, while Hannon could take the wraps off King Of Change, who was not run since his fine second to Magna Grecia in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
Varian, meanwhile, has supplemented Turjomaan following his runner-up finish to Duke Of Hazzard in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood.