Ruler set for Coronation Cup
Ruler Of The World is on track to return to the scene of his greatest triumph in Saturday's Coronation Cup at Epsom.
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The 2013 Investec Derby winner has failed to get his head in front in five subsequent starts but the return to the Downs on Saturday for the Investec sponsored contest - run this year in commemmoration of St Nicholas Abbey - could represent him with his best opportunity to date.
The Galileo colt is one of 10 entries for the Group One contest run over the course and distance of the Classic but he is not the only Classic winner in the field as last year's Oaks winner, Talent, could also take her chance.
The evergreen Cirrus Des Aigles has been in sensational form this season and has been confirmed an intended runner.
The eight-year-old clinched his fifth Group One victory with a dominant front-running display in the Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp just over a week ago and trainer Corine Barande-Barbe was keen to assess her stable star's well being before committing to a trip to Epsom.
She has been delighted with how her pride and joy has recovered from his Longchamp exertions and is excited about the prospect of seeing him run on Derby day on the Downs.
Barande-Barbe said: "He will run in the Coronation Cup and we are very much looking forward to going to Epsom. He has been in very good form since his last run - everything has been perfect.
"We wouldn't want the ground to be like a road, but there is a bit of rain forecast and I think it should be fine. It certainly won't be faster ground than in Dubai."
Cirrus Des Aigles's intended participation at Epsom means a trip to Royal Ascot later this month has been ruled out, but he could return to the Berkshire track for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes on July 26.
"It has been the plan all year to go for the Coronation Cup, then the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and then hopefully to Ascot for the King George," said Barande-Barbe.
"We decided to run in the Prix d'Ispahan because it was a small field, the going was perfect for him and it was very near to home. If we ran at Royal Ascot, we couldn't run in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. We made the plan at the start of the year and we are sticking to it."
France could also be represented by the Andre Fabre-trained Flintshire while Empoli could represent Germany in a cosmopolitan entry.
The possibles are completed by the progressive Battalion, Ambivalent, Ernest Hemingway (a stablemate of Ruler Of The World), the globetrotting Joshua Tree and the supplemented course specialist Beacon Lady who faces a steep rise in class.
The last-named mare's trainer William Knight has made a brave call by supplementing the dual course winner at a cost of £25,000.
The five-year-old was a runaway winner of the Great Metropolitan Handicap at the track at the end of April, but the trainer acknowledges his charge will face a far tougher test stepped up to Group One level this weekend.
Knight said: "It's a massive step up for her and if it was at any other course I don't think we'd even be considering it, but she obviously likes Epsom and has also won five times at Brighton, so she handles that kind of track well.
"She was pretty impressive in the Metropolitan and being a mare, any black type she can pick up would be fantastic.
"The owners are quite sporting and were keen to have a crack at it and if one or two of the bigger names under-perform, who knows what will happen?
"It will be a small field and she's quite versatile ground-wise, so we'll give it a shot and see what happens."