JAMIE SPENCER has come in for the ride of The Grey Gatsby, the 2014 Yorkshire horse of the year, in Wednesday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot for which 10 have been declared.
Ryan Moore has been Hambleton trainer Kevin Ryan’s first port of call for the four-year-old ever since he rode him to victory in the Dante Stakes at York just over a year ago.
Moore was also on board for his wins in the French Derby and Irish Champion Stakes, however, he instead rides last year’s Tercentenary Stakes winner Cannock Chase for Sir Michael Stoute.
Spencer has ridden The Grey Gatsby twice before when second in the Craven and 10th in the 2000 Guineas.
Free Eagle is likely to go off favourite for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen.
The lightly-raced four-year-old has not been seen since finishing third in the Champion Stakes in October on just his fourth ever run.
Adding a truly international flavour to the race are California Chrome and Criterion.
California Chrome nearly pulled off the Holy Grail of American racing last year, the Triple Crown, coming up agonisingly short in the final leg.
He has since been narrowly beaten in a Breeders’ Cup Classic and finished second in a Dubai World Cup.
Australian challengers are no strangers to Ascot but they usually run in the sprints, not over 10 furlongs like Criterion, who beat Red Cadeaux back in April.
The French challengers are Ectot, a winner of six of his eight races, and Gailo Chop, second in the Prix d’Ispahan last time out.
There is even a Japanese runner in the shape of Spielberg, who won the Tenno Sho, one of the biggest races in Japan.
John Gosden’s Western Hymn has won the Gordon Richards and Brigadier Gerard Stakes this season, while David Simock’s The Corsican is four from six and on an upward curve.
The only horse not declared was Gosden’s Eagle Top who runs in the Hardwicke Stakes later in the week.