Minding sits QEII test
Guineas and Oaks winner Minding will take on the boys in a field of 13 for a mouthwatering renewal of the QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day.
Minding: Takes on the colts in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
The Galileo filly had three options, but the all-conquering Aidan O'Brien has decided to drop her back down to a mile, a distance over which she has not run since being beaten by the re-opposing Jet Setting in the Irish Guineas.
Kevin Buckley, UK Representative for Coolmore Stud, said of the dual Classic winner: "Minding will appreciate the little break that she's had since the Irish Champion and she's very versatile when it comes to distance."
Hugo Palmer's 2000 Guineas and St James's Palace winner Galileo Gold, Irish Guineas hero Awtaad and Richard Fahey's improving Prix Jacques le Marois scorer Ribchester add incredible strength in depth.
Fahey said of the latter: "It seems disrespectful to the others I've trained but he'd be the classiest. He never blows, whatever you do with him. I've not had one like that before.
"It is a worry that he's been the go for a while but his whole demeanour says that he's not over the top. His French run is the best form and there no hard-luck stories. Maybe Galileo Gold ran a little bit flat but I thought after Goodwood we would bridge the gap with him. I feel he has improved again since then too.
"I'm a big fan of Minding. She's exceptional over every distance but I'm happy with my guy."
Ed Walker is hoping for a change of luck for Stormy Antarctic.
"In the Marois we were guilty of worrying about one horse, Galileo Gold, too much," he said on Monday.
"We felt that he was the one to beat. He over-raced and the pace was just too strong up front and it teed it up for the finishers. We were caught up on the fast pace and paid the price at the end.
"However, I don't think that you can finish second in two Group 1s and both of them be a fluke, he's definitely good enough but hasn't had a huge amount of luck so far this season. He's in cracking form and goes into the race fresh and we know that he runs very well fresh so we're really up for it. Any rain would be welcome."
Adaay, Hathal, Breton Rock, Lightning Spear, the O'Brien-trained Hit It A Bomb, Barchan and Mitchum Swagger complete the list.
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