Star fillies Magical and Sea Of Class are among 11 confirmations for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.
Having rounded off her 2018 campaign by pushing Enable all the way in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Magical is three from three this season – completing her hat-trick in last month’s Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh.
O’Brien also has Hunting Horn and Magic Wand in contention for a Group One contest he has claimed on three previous occasions – with Duke of Marmalade (2008), So You Think (2012) and Highland Reel (2017) respectively.
The home team features the William Haggas-trained Sea Of Class, Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Ocean and last year’s Derby hero Masar – trained by Charlie Appleby.
Sea Of Class won the Irish Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks last summer before only narrowly failing to reel in Enable in a thrilling renewal of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
She is set to make her eagerly-anticipated reappearance next week, having been off the track since that fast-finishing effort in Paris.
Crystal Ocean will be partnered by Frankie Dettori for the first time.
The five-year-old is already a Royal Ascot winner – having landed last season’s Hardwicke Stakes – and returns at the top of his game following successive wins at Sandown and Newbury this spring.
Masar is a fascinating contender on what will be his first start since winning the premier Classic at Epsom last June.
Andre Fabre is set to send the hugely-impressive Prix Ganay winner Waldgeist across the Channel, while Deirdre will carry the hopes of Japan.
Desert Encounter (David Simcock), Salouen (Sylvester Kirk) and Zabeel Prince (Roger Varian) complete the acceptors.
Wesley Ward is responsible for six of the 42 entries in Wednesday’s Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Anna’s Fast, Chili Petin, Foolish Humor, Karak, Kimari and Nayibeth, who have all won their only race to date, are in the mix for the American maestro, who last won the race with Lady Aurelia in 2016.
Saeed bin Suroor’s Final Song, Charlie Appleby’s Divine Spirit and Willie McCreery’s Ickworth could all represent Godolphin, with their leading hope Chasing Dreams ruled out earlier on Thursday.
There are 22 in the Queen’s Vase at the confirmations stage, including five from Aidan O’Brien, among them Norway and Western Australia.
John Gosden’s First In Line and Questionare, Archie Watson’s Nate The Great and Charlie Fellowes’ Mankayan, who won on debut this week, are also in the mix.
Mark Johnston has a good record in the race and he has entered Sir Ron Priestley, Summer Moon, Nayef Road and Themaxwecan.
The Duke of Cambridge Stakes has 22 contenders, with last year’s Sandringham winner Agrotera and O’Brien’s I Can Fly towards the head of the betting.
Rawdaa, Pretty Baby and Veracious are other popular picks at this stage.
There are still 81 in contention for the Royal Hunt Cup.
James Tate’s New Graduate has been all the rage following an impressive Ripon win which has worked out well, while last year’s winner Settle For Bay hinted at a return to form last time out.
In the Windsor Castle there are 54 possibles, including Joseph O’Brien’s Air Force Jet, Jeremy Noseda’s Bomb Proof, Appleby’s Expressionist and Karl Burke’s Rayong.