Robert Varian’s charge Defoe played his cards really well in the Gr.2 Coronation Cup. So well that several of those he defeated are back to haunt him in the Hardwicke and quite a few others who have a fair chance at claiming the cup.
Leading the opposition is Charlie Appleby’s Masar who is returning to the field after winning last year's Gr.1 Investec Derby. The Godolphin owned colt has been absent since sustaining a leg injury in the buildup to the Coral Eclipse (Gr.1) a few weeks later. After a long road back, which took in a winter spell of recuperation in Dubai, Masar has defied the doubters who said we had seen the last of him, and he is ready to resume his career.
The master of Freemason Lodge has saddled a record 11 previous winners of the Hardwicke Stakes will be saddling Mirage Dancer, a son of Frankel who made a winning reappearance in a Listed event at Goodwood.
Adian O’Brien has rerouted Southern France from the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot to the shorter Hardwicke Stakes after placing second behind the dual consecutive Gold Cup winner Stradivarius in the Gr.2 Yorkshire Cup (2019)
Luka, Jr. trained-Nagano Gold who was last seen at Longchamp in April when he finished third in the Gr.3 Prix d'Hedouville.