Top stayer Stradivarius is currently money-on to emulate record-breaking Double Trigger by gaining a third victory in the two-mile £500,000 Group 1 Qatar Goodwood Cup later this month.
The John Gosden-trained five-year-old gamely beat Mark Johnston’s Dee Ex Bee to win a second Group 1 Gold Cup over half a mile further at Royal Ascot in June.
Godolphin’s Cross Counter is second favourite after finishing a close fourth in the Gold Cup, his first attempt at two and a half miles. The four-year-old is unbeaten in two appearances over two miles, headed by a running-on victory in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup at Flemington, Australia, last November.
Three-year-olds receive 15lb from older horses in the Qatar Goodwood Cup and six of the 21 acceptors could take advantage of this significant weight allowance, just as Stradivarius did in 2017.
They are headed by Royal Ascot Group 2 Queen’s Vase winner Dashing Willoughby from Andrew Balding’s yard, plus the first and second from the King George V Handicap, South Pacific and Constantinople, who are both trained by Aidan O’Brien for Coolmore partnerships.
Other entries for the Ballydoyle team are Barbados, Cypress Creek, Harpo Marx, Norway and Southern France, while Luke Comber has Raa Atoll amongst the entries, making it eight Irish-trained horses entered in the contest.
Recent Newmarket Listed winner Wells Farhh Go from Tim Easterby’s stable and the last two winners of the Northumberland Plate: Roger Charlton’s Withhold and Alan King’s Who Dares Wins are all possible runners.