Jim Bolger’s brilliant miler added last week’s St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot to his Qipco 2000 Guineas triumph at Newmarket as he bounced back from the ignominy of an unbelievably poor run in the Investec Derby.
The colt, who wears the Godolphin blue, is among 35 entries for the Group One over an extended mile and a quarter won last year by Frankel.
A highly-quality entry includes Toronado, who was just touched off by Dawn Approach at Ascot, Derby hero Ruler Of The World, Al Kazeem, St Nicholas Abbey and Snow Fairy.
As well as Ruler Of The World and St Nicholas Abbey, Aidan O’Brien has also entered one-time Derby favourite Kingsbarns, who has not run since last season’s Racing Post Trophy, and Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Magician and Queen Anne victor Declaration Of War.
Telescope, another leading Derby contender not to have run so far this year, is a possible for Sir Michael Stoute, while John Gosden’s progressive Ascot winner Remote could represent the Frankel colours of sponsor Khalid Abdullah.
Just The Judge, winner of the Irish 1,000 Guineas and due to step up in trip in the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, also holds the engagement.
Maarek meanwhile could go to Germany in search of suitable ground conditions next week because of no immediate end to the prevailing dry spell in the UK and Ireland.
David Nagle’s star sprinter is likely to skip entries at Newcastle and the Curragh on Saturday because of fast ground, and could go on his travels for the Group Three Hamburger Flieger Trophy over six furlongs in Hamburg on Wednesday.
“He’s come out of Ascot perfect, we’re just struggling to find soft ground for him this year. We can’t complain – we had our ground last year,” said County Tipperary-based Nagle.
“He has the same turn of foot when the ground is soft while other horses don’t. He still ran a respectable race at Ascot (ninth in Diamond Jubilee) and we were delighted with him.
“The forecast would have to change dramatically for him to run anywhere. He is in next Wednesday in Germany. They are giving rain over there and it is meant to be soft. We are going to look a bit more into it.
“He’s fit and well. If we get our conditions we’ll probably travel.”
Ron Harris is planning a four-horse raid on the Curragh this weekend, headed by Judge ’n Jury and Secret Witness in the Woodies DIY Sapphire Stakes.
The Monmouthshire trainer sent Glamorous Spirit to take the Group Three event in 2010 while Judge ’n Jury was a narrow second last year.
He tries his luck again along with Secret Witness, who finished down the field in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot last week.
Prodigality was 10th in that race and he also travels to Ireland, along with Powerful Wind who will line up in the Irish National Stud Gathering Handicap rather than take up his Sapphire Stakes entry.
“I’ll have four runners over the weekend,” Harris said.
“Prodigality will go for the Paddy Power Sprint, and Judge ’n Jury and Secret Witness will go for the Sapphire Stakes.
“Powerful Wind will go for a valuable 0-90 handicap, where there’s very good prize money.”