Four superb QIPCO British Champions Series races will take place at The Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival next week.
Here are the potential clashes which should have racing fans on the edge of their seats.
POET’S WORD v ROARING LION
Sir Michael Stoute has already saddled the winner of the International Stakes a record six times and he has another outstanding candidate in Poet’s Word, who won an epic renewal of the QIPCO-sponsored King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot last month after previously landing the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.
The five-year-old, among 11 entries to stand their ground at the five-day stage, could face four Group 1-winning three-year-old colts, who he must concede 7lb too.
Chief among them is Roaring Lion, who mastered old rival Saxon Warrior to land the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown last time, having been a runaway winner of the Dante Stakes at York earlier in the campaign.
SEA OF CLASS v LAURENS
Sea Of Class was unraced as a two-year-old and was having only her fourth start when coming from last to first under a motionless James Doyle in the Irish Oaks last month.
Her first run in a Champions Series contest is eagerly awaited, especially with the tough and high-class Laurens on course to take part.
Laurens won the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket last year and this term, after finishing runner-up in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas on her reappearance, she has struck twice more at highest level in France this year, winning the French Oaks on her latest start.
STRADIVARIUS v MAGIC CIRCLE
Stradivarius has carried all before him this season, winning the Yorkshire Cup, Gold Cup and Qatar Goodwood Cup.
The four-year-old will land connections a £1 million bonus offered by Weatherbys Hamilton if extending his winning spree in the Lonsdale Cup and he will not have old rival Torcedor to worry about, with that horse being sold to new owners who have the Emirates Melbourne Cup in mind for him.
However, Stradivarius could have an intriguing new rival to overcome in Magic Circle. The Ian Williams-trained six-year-old gelding was a runaway winner of the Henry II Stakes on his latest start, having previously landed the Chester Cup.
BATTAASH v BLUE POINT
Battaash again looked an absolute ball of speed when winning the Group 2 King George Stakes at Goodwood last month and is hot favourite to make amends for his below-par fourth in the Nunthorpe last year.
He also has a score to settle, having been beaten by Blue Point in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
Excuses were made for Battaash that day, but Blue Point pegged him back with something to spare and it would be folly to underestimate him.