Derby and King George hero Adayar will line up in Saturday’s Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot after pleasing trainer Charlie Appleby in a gallop on Wednesday.
The three-year-old finished fourth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp at the start of the month and the Frankel colt had not been certain to make a quick return in the Champions Day feature.
However, Appleby is confident the Godolphin-owned runner is in top form after he sparkled in a piece of work at Moulton Paddocks, with the team relishing a rematch with King George second Mishriff over the shorter trip of 10 furlongs.
Appleby told www.godolphin.com: “It was an easy piece of work to confirm his well-being, and he did it so well. We discussed it with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and the decision was taken to run. We are all looking forward to the rematch with Mishriff, particularly over this trip.
“Adayar beat Mishriff comfortably (a length and three-quarters) in the King George, and then Mishriff came out and dominated the Juddmonte International at York, winning by six lengths, over the distance (approximately) of Saturday’s race.
“We are happy to meet him over the mile and a quarter, which is the trip where we believe Adayar’s potential lies next year (at four).”
Adayar and the John and Thady Gosden-trained Mishriff head 10 contenders for the Group One contest, with last year’s victor Addeybb also in the mix for William Haggas.
The Newmarket handler has two other chances in the supplemented Dubai Honour, a winner on Arc weekend, and Al Aasy, who has failed to build on a narrow second in the Coronation Cup earlier in the year.
Aidan O’Brien relies on Bolshoi Ballet while Jim Bolger sends Mac Swiney to form a dual Irish challenge.
Arc fifth Sealiway represents Cedric Rossi with Euchen Glen and Foxes Tales completing the field.
Palace Pier and Baaeed will clash in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
The John and Thady Gosden-trained Palace Pier has been beaten only once in his career, when defeated by three and a half lengths behind The Revenant in this race last season.
Since then the colt has been faultless over the same mile trip, beginning his season with an eight-length success in the bet365 Mile and then going on to score a Group One treble that included the Lockinge, Queen Anne and Prix Jacques le Marois.
Palace Pier’s chief rival appears to be the unbeaten Shadwell colt Baaeed, who has been a comfortable winner in each of his five runs from maiden to Group One level.
Trained by William Haggas, the three-year-old was a six-and-a-half-length winner of the Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood and then went to take the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp on his last outing.
Andrew Balding’s Alcohol Free is also declared and will look to bounce back from a sixth-placed run when last seen in the Juddmonte International at York.
Prior to that the filly had twice been a Group One winner this season, taking the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
The Revenant bids to retain his title in the race after prevailing by a head last season for trainer Francis-Henri Graffard.
The chestnut has not been victorious in three runs this season, but was beaten by just a short neck when bidding for a third Prix Daniel Wildenstein at Longchamp earlier in the month.
Charlie Appleby is represented by 2000 Guineas runner-up Master Of The Seas, who went on to finish third in the Group Two Joel Stakes at Newmarket in September.
The winner of that race was Saeed bin Suroor’s Benbatl, who shares an owner with Master Of The Seas in the shape of Godolphin and is also entered at Ascot on Saturday.
William Jarvis’ Lady Bowthorpe will look to regain the form that saw her win the Group One Nassau Stakes at Goodwood after a disappointing run when seventh of eight last time in the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville in August.
Aidan O’Brien’s Mother Earth will be contesting her eighth consecutive Group One race this term, with the filly having won both the 1000 Guineas and the Prix Rothschild in a campaign that has seen her finish no worse than third each time.
Jessica Harrington’s Njord and David O’Meara’s Lord Glitters round off the field of 10 contenders.
Trueshan and Stradivarius will renew their rivalry at Ascot on Saturday after both stood their ground for the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup.
With Trueshan missing the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and Stradivarius sidestepping the Goodwood Cup, the pair finally met for the first time this season at ParisLongchamp a fortnight ago.
And after a thrilling battle up the home straight, it was the Alan King-trained Trueshan who asserted late on to claim his second Group One success in impressive style in the Prix du Cadran.
Trueshan will be a hot favourite to make it back-to-back Long Distance Cup wins under Hollie Doyle, who returns to the saddle after missing his French success due to suspension.
John and Thady Gosden’s Stradivarius was a brave second in Paris and connections will be hoping the sounder surface will help him bridge the gap on Qipco Champions Day.
Tony Mullins’ stable star Princess Zoe, who could finish only fifth when defending her Cadran crown, is also part of the 12-strong field, as is the William Haggas-trained Hamish.
Art Power heads a maximum field of 20 runners for the Qipco British Champions Sprint.
Tim Easterby’s charge was beaten just a length into fourth place 12 months ago and returns with strong claims after a runaway victory in the Renaissance Stakes at the Curragh.
Archie Watson saddles defending champion Glen Shiel, as well as Dragon Symbol, who would certainly not be winning out of turn having gone close in a string of Group One events this season.
Creative Force (Charlie Appleby) and Minzaal (Owen Burrows) are among the other hopefuls.
Dual Classic heroine Snowfall appears to have a good opportunity to get back on the winning trail in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.
The daughter of Deep Impact was brilliant in winning the Oaks at Epsom, the Irish Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks, but was beaten at short odds in the Prix Vermeille and could finish only sixth in the Arc.
But with Free Wind and La Petite Coco both notable absentees, Snowfall will be well fancied to secure a fourth Group One win.
Her trainer Aidan O’Brien also saddles La Joconde, with course and distance winner Albaflora (Ralph Beckett) also one of eight runners declared.
The Gosden team are responsible for the first two in the betting for the concluding Balmoral Handicap, with Frankie Dettori’s mount Sunray Major heading the market ahead of stablemate King Leonidas.
Aldaary (Haggas) and Nugget (Richard Hannon) are others to consider in a wide-open contest.