Dual Classic heroine Love is among eight confirmations for Wednesday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Aidan O’Brien’s filly has not been seen since winning the Yorkshire Oaks by five lengths in August, having previously dominated her own age group in both the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Oaks at Epsom.
The daughter of Galileo missed an intended tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October on account of soft ground, meaning she will be making her first appearance in 10 months if she lines up for the feature event on day two of the Royal meeting.
O’Brien, who has previously won the Prince of Wales’s Stakes with Duke Of Marmalade (2008), So You Think (2012) and Highland Reel (2017), has also confirmed Armory for this year’s renewal.
The latter looks ready for a return to the top level judged on his impressive comeback victory in last month’s Huxley Stakes at Chester.
Ante-post lists are headed by John and Thady Gosden’s defending champion Lord North.
The Dubawi gelding failed to replicate his impressive performance of 12 months ago during the remainder of his 2020 campaign, but was back to his brilliant best when landing the Dubai Turf at Meydan in March.
The William Haggas-trained Addeybb filled the runner-up spot behind Lord North 12 months ago before returning to Ascot in the autumn to win the Qipco Champion Stakes.
He is set to renew rivalry following another successful stint in Australia and could be joined by stablemate My Oberon.
David Simcock’s stable stalwart Desert Encounter, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Sangarius and James Fanshawe’s star mare Audarya are the other hopefuls.
The latter has been off the track since winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Keeneland in November.
Lady Bowthorpe is among a field of 14 as the Lockinge runner-up is back against her own sex in Wednesday’s Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Having returned to action with a victory in the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket, the five-year-old took her form to a new level on her most recent outing.
She beat all bar John and Thady Gosden’s Palace Pier, arguably the best miler in Europe, and was over five lengths clear of the third.
Trainer William Jarvis said: “She had a hard race in the Lockinge. To finish second to Palace Pier was no disgrace at all and we were five and a half lengths clear of a pretty smart field. On the back of that her rating went up to 117 – she’s a very high-class mare.”
While Jarvis is happy to stay at a mile for now, he is inclined to step up in trip later in the season.
“I’m very keen still to go 10 furlongs with her, so I’ve got my eye on the Nassau Stakes,” he said.
“If things went OK at Royal Ascot, she could easily go to the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at the July meeting, and then 10 furlongs."
Chief among her rivals is likely to be Johnny Murtagh’s Champers Elysees, a Group One winner last year but below form so far this season.
Queen Power, Agincourt, Lavender’s Blue and a previous Royal Ascot winner in Charlie Fellowes’ Onassis are all in the mix at this stage – as well as Archie Watson’s Parent’s Prayer, an easy winner at Epsom last week.
One notable absentee was the Mikel Delzangles-trained Sagamiyra who had been prominent in the ante-post betting.
The Queen Mary has attracted 26 entries, including Wesley Ward’s Twilight Gleaming, while Frankie Dettori is jocked up on fellow American Artos for George Arnold.
George Boughey’s Beautiful Sunshine has created a big impression to date, as did Clive Cox’s Get Ahead when winning at Ascot first time out.
Aidan O’Brien has eight of the 24 in the Queen’s Vase, with one-time Derby hope Wordsworth among them.
Another trainer who does well in the race is Mark Johnston and he can chose from three, including four-times winner Dancing King.
The Gosdens’ Lincoln winner Haqeeqy is among the acceptors for the Royal Hunt Cup.
Richard Hannon has left in stable stalwart Oh This Is Us, a popular winner at Epsom on Derby day, while Shadwell Estate appear to hold a strong hand with Motakhayyel, Monthatham, Maydanny and Danyah.
The Windsor Castle has attracted 46 juveniles, including O’Brien’s Cadamosto and Ward’s Ruthin, while in the Kensington Palace Stakes 21 entries have been made.
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