Reigning champion Adayar will miss the defence of his King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes crown having been taken out at the latest scratching stage.
The 2021 Derby winner memorably got the better of Mishriff in the Ascot showpiece 12 months ago – a double last achieved by Galileo in 2001 – and was poised to make his belated seasonal reappearance in the July 23 feature, having previously been ruled out of both Royal Ascot and the Coral-Eclipse this campaign.
Joining the four-year-old in missing Ascot are stablemates Hurricane Lane and Yibir, while others to exit the picture include Sir Mark Prescott’s recent Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner Alpinista and the Queen’s Reach For The Moon.
Sir Michael Stoute has won the race a record six times and goes for victory number seven with his Derby hero Desert Crown. The Nathaniel colt is one of 15 who remain in the hunt for the mile-and-a-half prize alongside Irish Derby champion Westover, who could be given the chance to atone for his troubled passage at Epsom and try to turn the tables on Desert Crown.
Aidan O’Brien is responsible for a fifth of the possible field and could be represented by High Definition, Stone Age and Royal Ascot scorer Broome, while last year’s shock Arc winner Torquator Tasso could make an exciting raid having bounced back to form at Hamburg over the weekend.
Richard Hannon’s Gold Cup runner-up Mojo Star is still in contention, but O’Brien has taken out Kyprios and his Oaks winner Tuesday.
The course-and-distance-winning Pyledriver is another still in the mix and is a possible mount for Frankie Dettori. Joint-trainer William Muir delivered a positive update on his globetrotting star and stated the Italian would be the “first port of call if available”.
“It has always been his intended target to go to the King George, he’s in great shape and that is where we are going,” said Muir. “He’s in good shape and we may take him off for an away day before the race.
“Dettori would be (in line for the ride) if available. If something like Emily Upjohn is there then he will likely be taken for that, but if he’s available, yes he’ll be the first port of call.”