Telescope heads the list of 13 entries at the five-day stage for the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday.
Last year’s impressive winner of the Group Two mile-and-a-half prize is one of three runners left in by trainer Sir Michael Stoute.
After meeting with a surprise defeat in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket on his seasonal return, the five-year-old bounced back in emphatic fashion when slamming his rivals at Newbury last time out.
Harry Herbert, racing manager to owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, said: “It is a tough race and more open than the market suggests.
“Sir Michael Stoute is very happy with the horse, he seems to love Ascot and we are hopeful he can retain his Hardwicke crown.”
Stoute, who has won the race eight times, can also call on last year’s runner-up Hillstar and recent Yorkshire Cup winner Snow Sky .
John Gosden is responsible for four of those still standing. Heading his team is King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes fourth Eagle Top , while also featuring for the Derby-winning trainer are Romsdal, Gatewood and the unbeaten Mahsoob.
Last year’s impressive Great Voltigeur winner Postponed is the sole contender for Luca Cumani, while Ed Dunlop is represented by his three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux.
The Corsican and Sheikhzayedroad are in there for David Simcock, while Aidan O’Brien’s Gold Cup hope Kingfisher stands his ground. The possibles are completed by Japanese raider Super Moon .