A potentially fascinating Dante Stakes is in prospect at York on Thursday.
Sponsored by Al Basti Equiworld, the 10-furlong contest remains the pre-eminent Derby trial and the majority of the 14 left in at the confirmation stage would make waves in the Epsom market with victory.
Aidan O’Brien has won the race four times, but not since Cape Blanco in 2010. He has four possibles, led by Point Lonsdale, who was most recently seen finishing 10th in the 2000 Guineas. Bluegrass, Sussex and Shark Bay – who is declared to run at Naas on Saturday – complete the Ballydoyle quartet.
The once-raced Desert Crown has been a major ante-post mover for Sir Michael Stoute, while Magisterial showed lots of promise at two and was a Leicester winner last month for John and Thady Gosden.
Group One-winning juvenile El Bodegon represents James Ferguson, with Charlie Appleby leaving in intended Lingfield Derby Trial runner Walk Of Stars and Saeed bin Suroor having the option for his well-regarded White Wolf.
Royal Patronage (Mark and Charlie Johnston) was another to run in the Guineas, where he was two places in front of Point Lonsdale having raced freely in front for much of the way. He remains the only horse to beat Coroebus, winner of the Newmarket Classic.
Dark Moon Rising (Kevin Ryan), Savvy Victory (Sean Woods), Masekela (Andrew Balding) and Kingmax (David Loughnane) are also in contention.