All the big guns remain in the 2005 Vodafone Derby following the latest forfeit stage, with a total of 162 still engaged in the Premier Classic.
Ballydoyle maestro Aidan O’Brien has 24 possibles, having landed the blue riband in 2001 and 2002 with Galileo and High Chaparral respectively.
New stable jockey Kieren Fallon can choose from the likes of Racing Post Trophy second Albert Hall, impressive Leopardstown maiden winner Grand Central, Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud second Yehudi and the unraced £1million gns acquisition Avalon.
Fallon’s former employer Sir Michael Stoute has taken the last two renewals with Kris Kin and North Light, and he has 17 entries, including impressive Newmarket maiden winner Rob Roy.
Godolphin have 20 contenders as they chase their first win in the race and their strong hand includes ante-post favourite Dubawi and the former Mark Johnston-trained Shamardal.
Another prominent in the market is Michael Bell’s Racing Post Trophy winner Motivator, who is unbeaten in two starts.
“Motivator looks magnificent which is thrilling – he really does look a bit special at the moment – he is glowing,” said Harry Herbert, spokesman for owners, the Royal Ascot Racing Club.
“He was a weak horse when he won the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster last year and is much stronger now.
“Michael is happy with Motivator on all fronts and, when serious work starts in early April, if the colt shows enough speed, he will start off in 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
“Pedigree-wise, he has a lot of speed on his dam’s side and this means he could do well at the Guineas trip, although he is likely to be better over further which is why we are so exited about the Derby.”