York set to start with a bang as big three stand ground

Paddington, Mostahdaf and Desert Crown all feature among eight confirmations for what promises to be a blockbuster Juddmonte International Stakes at York on Wednesday.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Paddington has won each of his six starts this term, with his last four victories at Group One level in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, St James’s Palace Stakes, Eclipse and Sussex Stakes.

He is set to return to the Eclipse trip of 10 furlongs on the Knavesmire, where Prince of Wales’s Stakes hero Mostahdaf heads the opposition for John and Thady Gosden.

The five-year-old was a four-length winner at Royal Ascot and he is set to be partnered for the first time by Frankie Dettori, as regular rider Jim Crowley serves a 20-day whip suspension.

Last year’s Derby hero Desert Crown was forced to sidestep the Prince of Wales’s due to a late setback, but he is in the mix following a satisfactory piece on work on Wednesday morning.

He could be joined by fellow Sir Michael Stoute-trained runner Bay Bridge, who finished fifth behind Mostahdaf at Ascot.

The Gosden team also has a second contender in Nashwa, winner of the Falmouth Stakes and third in the Nassau last time out, while Mostahdaf’s owner Shadwell also has another possible in Alflaila, although they have indicated it is unlikely both their horses will run.

O’Brien also has Point Lonsdale in contention while the prospective field is completed by The Foxes, who finished second in the Belmont Derby for Andrew Balding last time out.

St Leger hopes will be on the line in the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes, with the Gosden-trained Gregory the key name following his Queen’s Vase verdict at Royal Ascot.

Godolphin rely on the Charlie Appleby-trained Castle Way after his narrow Bahrain Trophy success over Tower Of London.

That colt again features for O’Brien, who has five potential runners out of a list of 10, with Adelaide River and Continuous also confirmed.

Derby fourth Sprewell could represent Jessica Harrington, with Gordon Stakes third and fourth, Canberra Legend and Artistic Star, possibly crossing swords again.

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