No horse has achieved the task facing Times Up – three consecutive victories - since Beeswing back in 1842.
Times Up is usually prepared to peak in the autumn, firstly by the now-retired John Dunlop, and now by his son Ed, and looked to be on his way back when finishing third in last month’s Lonsdale Cup at York.
“It was a very good run at York as it was almost like his first run of the year. He has come out of it well and improved as we expected,” Dunlop told At The Races.
“I don’t know how many horses have won the Doncaster Cup three times and it would be a great achievement if he could do that. It looks like it is going to be a strong race though.
“I think he proved at York that he is back to his best. He will have his conditions, so let’s hope for the best.
“I think it’s a tough race, sadly, maybe a bit tougher with Estimate in there. He’s in the best condition he’s been in this year.
“We’ve had a good, clear run and we are very happy with him.”
Estimate, last year’s Gold Cup winner, has had an eventful 2014. She was behind in her work but still finished second at Royal Ascot, and was then found to be one of the horses involved in the spate of positive morphine tests.
The five-year-old ran appallingly in the Goodwood Cup but was nursed back to form by Michael Stoute and finished second, some two and a quarter lengths ahead of Times Up, at York.
The Queen’s racing manager John Warren said: “She’s in good order and Michael is very happy with her wellbeing. We expect her to run a nice rain tomorrow.”