Stellar cast in line for Palace showdown

Kingman and Night Of Thunder are set to clash for the third time this season in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot as both appeared among 12 entries at the latest forefeit stage.

Stellar cast in line for Palace showdown

While John Gosden’s Kingman was far superior in the Greenham at Newbury, Richard Hannon’s Night Of Thunder turned the tables in the Qipco 2000 Guineas to spring a 40-1 surprise.

Night Of Thunder has not run since, but the form of that win could not have worked out any better.

Kingman has landed the Irish Guineas, third home Australia famously won the Derby last week and Dante and French Derby winner The Grey Gatsby was well behind in 10th.

Hannon is also due to run Toormore, last year’s top juvenile and Craven winner who could finish only seventh in the Guineas.

With stable jockey Richard Hughes on Night Of Thunder, Ryan Moore and Kieren Fallon are the names in the frame for Toormore. He is owned by Middleham Park Racing and their racing manager Tim Palin said: “It’s very much the plan for him to run in the St James’s Palace and in many ways this is D-day for Toormore. It’s a pivotal race for him.

“We made some excuses for him finishing seventh in the Guineas, but the form of the race is obviously brilliant. The question we’re going to find the answer to on Tuesday is whether that is as good as he is or not.

“I’ve spoken to Richard Hannon and Hughesie (Richard Hughes) has decided he’s going to ride Night Of Thunder.

“Our plan B is Ryan Moore and our plan C is Kieren Fallon, so we’ll have to see what happens over the next few days.

“Toormore has had a nice break since the Guineas and I’m told he did his usual thing when he worked on Saturday. He’s not a horse who burns up the gallops, but I believe he’s in great form and I don’t think there will be any excuses this time.

“It promises to be an absolute spectacle.”

Aidan O’Brien has left in Dewhurst winner War Command, Michaelmas and Giovanni Boldini. Dermot Weld’s Mustajeeb, third to Kingman at the Curragh, could join the Irish challenge, as could Paul Deegan’s Prince Of All. Charlie Appleby’s Breeders’ Cup winner Outstrip, Mark Johnston’s Bow Creek, Gosden’s Muwaary and the William Haggas-trained Yuften complete the list.

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