Superstar filly Love and Derby hero Adayar are among nine confirmations for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot.
A dual classic winner last season having left her rivals trailing in her wake in both the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Oaks at Epsom, Aidan O’Brien’s Love made a successful return from 10 months off the track in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
O’Brien has also left in Broome, Japan and Mogul as he goes in search of a fifth King George success following the previous triumphs of Galileo (2001), Dylan Thomas (2007), Duke Of Marmalade (2008) and Highland Reel (2016), but Love is very much his chief hope.
With Coronation Cup winner Pyledriver taken out after suffering a setback, Love’s biggest threat appears to be the Charlie Appleby-trained Adayar, who was a brilliant winner of the Derby at Epsom in early June.
That form has been well advertised since by his stablemate Hurricane Lane, who was third in the premier Classic and has subsequently won both the Irish Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris.
Love will have to concede 8lb to Adayar due to the weight-for-age allowance.
Martyn Meade is set to saddle the narrow Irish Derby runner-up Lone Eagle, while the William Haggas-trained Addeybb and John and Thady Gosden’s Mishriff could renew rivalry after finishing second and third behind St Mark’s Basilica in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.
The potential field is completed by David Menuisier’s stable star Wonderful Tonight, who enjoyed successive Group 1 wins last autumn and looked as good as ever when making a winning start to the current campaign in the Hardwicke Stakes at the Royal meeting last month.