Irish 2,000 Guineas one-two Phoenix Of Spain and Too Darn Hot remain on course for a Royal Ascot rematch after both horses featured among 16 colts confirmed for Tuesday’s St James’s Palace Stakes.
John Gosden’s Too Darn Hot was the undoubted star of the juvenile division last season, with his unbeaten run of four wins including a comprehensive victory over Phoenix Of Spain at Doncaster.
Having suffered his first defeat when narrowly denied in last month’s Dante Stakes at York, Too Darn Hot was strongly fancied to claim Classic glory at the Curragh, but proved no match for the Charlie Hills-trained Phoenix Of Spain, who dominated from the front on what was his seasonal debut.
The pair look set to clash again on the opening day of the Royal meeting, with Phoenix Of Spain the clear favourite to confirm the form.
Gosden has an interesting second string to his bow in the progressive King Of Comedy and could also call on outsider Turgenev.
Aidan O’Brien – who has saddled a record seven previous winners of this Group 1 contest – has three possible runners in this year’s renewal, with The Irish Rover and Van Beethoven joined by the supplemented Circus Maximus.
The latter looks set to drop half a mile in distance after finishing sixth in the Investec Derby at Epsom.
The Ballydoyle handler’s Newmarket Guineas hero Magna Grecia – who disappointed in the Irish equivalent – is a notable absentee.
Other contenders include the William Haggas-trained Skardu, French Guineas runner-up Shaman and Martyn Meade’s Advertise.