Aidan O’Brien is chasing an 11th victory in the first Classic of the season and already holds the record as the most successful trainer in the race.
The Ballydoyle handler has an exceptionally strong hand, led by St Mark’s Basilica and Wembley – the first two home in the Dewhurst at the end of last season.
Vintage Stakes winner Battleground, who missed a large part of the summer before finishing second at the Breeders’ Cup, stands his ground, while O’Brien could also run Criterium International winner Van Gogh and Military Style.
Godolphin and Charlie Appleby look the chief threat to Ballydoyle, with two major chances.
Appleby fields Craven Stakes winner Master Of The Seas and One Ruler, who will be making his seasonal debut but impressed in a recent workout on the Rowley Mile.
One Ruler beat Van Gogh in the Autumn Stakes before chasing home Jim Bolger’s Mac Swiney in the Futurity Trophy at Doncaster. Appleby could also run Naval Crown.
Following his Craven win William Buick has sided with Master Of The Seas, with James Doyle set to partner One Ruler.
“Five days out from the Guineas, I couldn’t be happier with them. One Ruler has been progressing nicely at home, while Master Of The Seas has gone to the races and put the score on the board,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com.
“It wasn’t an easy call for William, who rode Master Of The Seas in the Craven and then sat on One Ruler in a routine gallop at Moulton Paddocks last week.
“William asked some serious questions of Master Of The Seas in his race, and he was pleased with the response. I believed that’s what clinched it in the end.”
As for One Ruler, he has had a couple of racecourse gallops and has been getting a helping hand from someone who knows how to win the race.
Appleby explained: “Kieren Fallon, who has been riding him all winter, took him for a routine gallop at Moulton Paddocks on Saturday, and he was pleased.
“Kieren won the Guineas five times, so it’s great to have a rider with that experience on the team.”
Mac Swiney adds to the Irish challenge along with stablemate Poetic Flare, as does Jessica Harrington’s Lucky Vega, a Group One-winning juvenile, with similar comments applying to Joseph O’Brien’s Thunder Moon.
Charlie Hills’ Mutasaabeq, has been supplemented following his taking reappearance win at Newmarket. Richard Hannon’s Greenham winner Chindit, Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Albadri, Ralph Beckett’s Devilwala, Roger Varian’s Legion Of Honour and the Andrew Balding-trained Mystery Smiles complete the field.
Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.