Australian raider Artorius will face 15 rivals when he runs in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday.
Trained by Anthony and Sam Freedman, the four-year-old will be attempting to better his third-placed effort in the contest 12 months ago and has been plying his trade with real credit in top contests domestically recently.
There is a truly international feel to the race as fellow Australians Cannonball and The Astrologist are also in the mix, with Hong Kong’s Wellington, Christophe Clement’s American challenger Big Invasion and France’s Coeur De Pierre others from overseas taking part.
The home challenge is led by John Quinn’s Highfield Princess who was runner-up in the King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday, while Sacred and Kinross – who is the mount of Frankie Dettori – are others who bring high-class form to the table.
Al Suhail represents last year’s winning handler Charlie Appleby, with Sandrine (Andrew Balding), Rohaan (David Evans) and Art Power (Tim Easterby) all returning to Ascot having scored at the meeting in the past.
Hukum will be all the rage to down seven rivals in the Hardwicke Stakes following his comeback victory over Desert Crown at Sandown.
Owen Burrows’ charge had been off the track for almost a year prior to that Brigadier Gerard success, but looked better than ever and now returns to 12 furlongs to take on a stellar cast that includes the likes of Deauville Legend (James Ferguson), Pyledriver (William Muir and Chris Grassick) and Free Wind (John and Thady Gosden).
The day begins with the Chesham Stakes where 17 two-year-olds are headed by Aidan O’Brien’s Navan winner Pearls And Rubies as the master of Ballydoyle attempts to enhance his stellar record in the seven-furlong event, while a high-class field has been assembled for the Jersey Stakes over the same distance.
There will be 15 heading to post including Clarehaven’s talented Juddmonte-owned colt Covey, Roger Varian’s Surrey Stakes scorer Olivia Maralda and unbeaten stablemate Enfjaar plus O’Brien’s Lacken Stakes scorer The Antarctic.