Highfield Princess heads a stellar cast ahead of her Nunthorpe title defence bid

Defending champion Highfield Princess will have 15 horses to beat after 16 runners were declared for a red-hot Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes at York on Friday.

John Quinn’s star mare stormed to victory in this race in the midst of a phenomenal Group One treble last term and although she may have not reached the same heights this year, she has still performed with real credit and looked back to her very best when scoring at Goodwood earlier this month.

She will lock horns with both of her Ascot conquerors on the Knavesmire with Archie Watson’s King’s Stand champion Bradsell and Charlie Hills’ Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes winner Khaadem featuring amongst those declared.

Frankie Dettori will partner Twilight Calls in his final Nunthorpe, with Henry Candy’s five-year-old attempting to replicate his grandsire Kyllachy and win this prestigious sprinting prize following a luckless run at the Royal meeting.

Course and distance scorer Regional could provide Ed Bethell with the biggest win of his career if securing a hat-trick in this high-class event, while Mick Appleby’s two-year-old Big Evs was supplemented at a cost of £40,000 and adds further spice to the mix.

Ascot Gold Cup hero Courage Mon Ami heads the seven declared for a competitive renewal of the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes.

John and Thady Gosden’s four-year-old announced himself as the new star of the staying division at Royal Ascot but now heads to York having suffered his first defeat when behind runaway scorer Quickthorn in the Goodwood Cup.

The six-year-old employed bold front-running tactics when thriving on the Sussex Downs, just as he did when romping away with this prize 12 months ago, and trainer Hughie Morrison will be hoping for more of the same.

Marco Botti’s Giavellotto returns to the scene of his Yorkshire Cup victory earlier in the season, while Andrew Balding’s Coltrane is an ultra-consistent performer at this level.

Ten go to post for the day’s feature two-year-old action and Kylian is a warm order to give Karl Burke a first Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes victory.

The Group Two contest is run over six furlongs, with Vintage Stakes hero Haatem (Richard Hannon), Action Point (Archie Watson) and Ballydoyle’s Windsor Castle runner-up Johannes Brahms others to note.

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