Entries for seven Group 1 races at this year’s Royal Ascot carnival have closed overnight, with Australia having four entries.
Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Star Witness leads the quartet, with nominations in both the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) and the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes (1200m).
Also dual nominated are fellow three year old Shrapnel and Oakleigh Plate winner Eagle Falls.
The Peter Moody-trained three year old Hinchinbrook is entered solely for the Golden Jubilee.
They will be out to enhance Australia’s incredible record in the Ascot feature sprints, with Choisir, Takeover Target, Miss Andretti and Scenic Blast winning in the last decade.
Caulfield Guineas winner Starspangledbanner also won last year, but was trained by Irish maestro Aiden O’Brien.
The quartet will have to overcome stiff competition, with the likes of American speedster Kinsale King, last year’s King’s Stand Stakes winner Kingsgate Native, the “Budapest Bullet” Overdose, Singapore star Rocket Man and Nunthorpe Stakes winner Sole Power entered in one or both races.
There are 59 entries in the King’s Stand and 67 entries in the Golden Jubilee.
Entries were also taken for the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes (1600m), the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes (1600m), the Group 1 Prince of Wales Stakes (2000m), the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup (4000m) and the Group 1 Coronation Stakes (1600m).
Australian eyes will be on champion So You Think, who is entered in two races for his new trainer Aiden O’Brien.
He is most likely to tackle the Prince of Wales Stakes, where he is entered alongside European stars like Canford Cliffs, Cape Blanco, Midday, Rewilding, Snow Fairy, St Nicholas Abbey, Twice Over and Workforce.
The Queen Anne Stakes is no easier, with star mare Goldikova among a strong set of nominations.
If So You Think runs in this race, he will be out to emulate Doncaster Handicap winner Haradasun, who won the Queen Anne Stakes in 2008.
In other races, one time South Australian Derby winner Kidnapped has been entered for Europe’s most famous staying test, the Ascot Gold Cup.
He has had one start in the northern hemisphere, finishing fifth at Meydan over 2000m.
The Gold Cup features many names familiar to Australians, with former Melbourne Cup runners Campanologist, Geordieland, Holberg and Manighar entered.
Last year’s winner Rite of Passage, Irish St Leger winner Sans Frontieres and one time Epsom Derby favourite St Nicholas Abbey are among entries, as are the likes of Cavalryman, Fame and Glory and Monterosso.
The 300th Royal Ascot carnival runs from June 14 to 18.
Written by Andrew Hawkins