Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Tahiyra is the star name among seven fillies declared for the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on Friday.
Dermot Weld’s filly was brilliant in winning each of her two starts as a juvenile last season and was a hot favourite to secure Classic glory in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.
She was narrowly beaten by the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Mawj on the Rowley Mile, but went one better in the Irish equivalent and with Mawj not lining up for the rematch due to an unsatisfactory scope, Tahiyra is odds-on to claim a third Group One victory on the penultimate day of the Royal meeting.
Aidan O’Brien’s Irish Guineas runner-up Meditate does take on the Weld runner again, as does Jim Bolger’s Comhra, who finished third as a 150-1 shot in the Curragh Classic.
There was only a short head between Sounds Of Heaven (Jessica Harrington) and Queen For You (John and Thady Gosden) when first and second in a Listed event at York last month and they renew rivalry.
Mammas Girl (Richard Hannon) and Remarquee (Ralph Beckett) complete the septet.
Little Big Bear will be all the rage to see off 13 rivals in the Group One Commonwealth Cup.
Last season’s champion juvenile floundered in a soft ground 2000 Guineas, but showed his true colours when dropped back in trip on a sounder surface in the Sandy Lane at Haydock last month.
Chief among his rivals is Roger Varian’s Sakheer, who also reverts to sprinting after seemingly having his stamina limitations exposed in the Guineas.
It is a similar story for the Beckett-trained filly Lezoo, who won last season’s Cheveley Park Stakes but weakened late on in the 1000 Guineas on her reappearance.
Noble Style (Charlie Appleby) and Shaquille (Julie Camacho) also feature.
Carla’s Way (Simon and Ed Crisford), Soprano (George Boughey) and Jabaara (Varian) are among the leading contenders for the curtain-raising Albany Stakes, while Derby runner-up King Of Steel (Varian) heads a six-strong field for the King Edward VII Stakes.
Arrest, a disappointing Derby favourite for Frankie Dettori, takes him on again.