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Star-studded Champion Stakes at Ascot

Cracksman and Barney Roy head the 17 horses confirmed for the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

Since being placed in both the Epsom Derby and the Irish equivalent at the Curragh, the John Gosden-trained Cracksman has impressed in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York and the Prix Niel at Chantilly.

Connections decided against a clash with stablemate Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and he is instead set to drop to a mile-and-a-quarter (2000m) on Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday.

Barney Roy, trained by Richard Hannon for Godolphin, was runner-up to Churchill in the 2000 Guineas before gaining his revenge in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The colt has since been beaten by Ulysses in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown and the Juddmonte International at York.

Ulysses still has the option after finishing third in the Arc at the start of the month. Trainer Sir Michael Stoute could also saddle Poet’s Word.

Aidan O’Brien’s battalion includes Highland Reel, Churchill and Rhododendron – but not multiple Group One-winning filly Winter, who has also been taken out of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and the British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.

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