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Juddmonte pair chase Sir Henry Cecil Stakes success

Derab and Maximal give Juddmonte a strong hand in the Edmondson Hall Solicitors Sir Henry Cecil Stakes at Newmarket.

An intriguing field of six runners has been declared for Thursday’s Listed contest, with the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Maximal setting the standard on ratings after finishing a creditable fourth in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

John and Thady Gosden’s Derab, who is a half-brother to the brilliant mare Enable, was last seen finishing eighth in the French Derby at Chantilly – a race won by Saturday’s Coral-Eclipse hero St Mark’s Basilica.

Barry Mahon, Juddmonte’s general manager Ireland and European racing, said: “At the minute they’re both going to run. We’re keeping an eye on the weather with Maximal because he wants fast ground – so with the risk of thunderstorms, we’ll be monitoring it (the ground) with him.

“Both horses are in good form. It’s not ideal to have the two of them running (against each other), but there’s no alternative.

“Maximal ran a great race at Ascot – and the other horse, to be fair, had a rough trip over to France. He had rough trip in the race, and we threw him in at the deep end a little bit.

“It will be nice to give him a confidence booster close to home and get him back on an upward curve.”

Baaeed, a full-brother to high-class middle-distance performer Hukum, has made a big impression in winning his first two starts – on his racecourse debut at Leicester before dominating his rivals over this course and distance.

Trainer William Haggas said: “He’s just won a maiden and a novice – he’s stepping right up for what is a very strong race for the grade.

“He looks a nice horse, but we’ll see on Thursday how nice.”

Charlie Appleby lowers the sights of One Ruler – who has finished sixth in the 2000 Guineas, sixth in the Derby and seventh in the Hampton Court Stakes so far this term.

“One Ruler has been slightly frustrating so far this year – but dropping back to a mile should suit,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com.

“He will be a major player if he can rediscover his two-year-old form.”

Roger Varian’s Legion Of Honour and Mark Johnston’s Naamoos are the other hopefuls.

Group Three honours are up for grabs in the Bahrain Trophy – a recognised trial for the St Leger at Doncaster in September.

Johnston saddles both Dancing King and Gear Up, while the Gosdens are represented by Queen’s Vase third Stowell.

Yibir is a leading contender for Appleby, having been gelded since chasing home subsequent Irish Derby runner-up Lone Eagle in the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood in May.

“Yibir has some great form in the book this season but has been a bit frustrating, which is why he has been gelded since his last run,” said the Moulton Paddocks handler.

“If he can return to the level of form he showed at Sandown (when third in Classic Trial), it is going to make him very competitive.”

Brian Meehan’s dual winner Mandoob also features.