CHAMPION Cracksman is ready to take aim at the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.
John Gosden’s four-year-old is the red-hot 8-13 favourite to win the £750,000 contest, which is the feature event on day two of the Royal meeting.
The son of the great Frankel will be ridden by Frankie Dettori in the Group 1 and will face just six rivals.
He will be chasing a fourth straight win at the highest level having narrowly beaten Salouen to win a thrilling Coronation Cup at Epsom earlier this month.
Gosden was relieved to see him come through that race with another victory under his belt after plenty went wrong.
Gosden said: “He is fine. It was a bit of a muddle at Epsom, but he got the job done.
“It would not be the ideal prep race coming in, but we are happy to run him and he is in good form at home.
“The horse was a little bit at sea all the time at Epsom.
“He did whack his head in the stalls. I could understand why he didn’t like coming down the hill.
“After this we will have a nice wait until the King George.
Gosden, who was champion trainer in Britain in 2012 and 2015, sounded a slight note of caution with the ground riding fast at Ascot.
He continued: “He has breezed since Epsom and Frankie has ridden him. He is pleased with the horse going into the race.
“The ground rode very soft on Champions Day and this is a different ball game.
“This is summer racing on fast summer ground, so it is a different ball game.”
Among his opposition is dual Group 1 winner Hawkbill, who was beaten out of sight in the Coronation Cup at Epsom.
But Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby is hoping for an improved effort from his horse.
Appleby said: “We were slightly disappointed with Hawkbill’s run at Epsom, as he had his ground there.
“He is becoming more versatile as he gets older and has put up decent performances on quick ground as well as soft ground.
“He does get himself worked up, but he got a bit more worked up as well and maybe there was a bit of freshness as well that day because he had a break since the Sheema Classic victory in Dubai.
“He’s come out of the race very well and Hawkbill is Hawkbill – when he brings his A game, he is a hard horse to pass.”
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The 10-1 shot Cliffs Of Moher will represent Aidan O’Brien, and the horse was narrowly ahead of Cracksman when the pair finished second and third in the Derby last season.
He warmed up for the Prince Of Wales’s with a second in the Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland on May 27.
O’Brien said: “He came on well from his first run this year to his second and we think he has progressed again since the Tattersalls Gold Cup.