Regal Reality features in a high-class renewal of the 10-furlong BetUK Churchill Stakes (2.36pm), one of two Listed races at Lingfield Park on Saturday, November 18.
Sir Michael Stoute’s eight-year-old, who shoulders a 5lb penalty thanks to his victory in the G3 Diomed Stakes, lines up after going down by a head to Mutasaabeq in the G2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket in late September.
The son of Intello makes his second all-weather appearance, having lost out by a nose to Dubai Warrior in the Listed Quebec Stakes over the course and distance in December 2021.
Foxes Tales appeared to relish the all-weather in two outings for Andrew Balding earlier this year, including an easy victory in the Listed Magnolia Stakes at Kempton Park in April. The five-year-old ran twice on turf afterwards, most recently finishing 10th in the Listed Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Godolphin has two contenders as the royal blue silks chase a fourth Churchill Stakes victory, with past winners including subsequent G1 scorer Hunter’s Light. Charlie Appleby saddles Blue Trail, who was an 11-length winner of a Meydan handicap in February, while John & Thady Gosden are represented by 2021 G3 Winter Derby hero Forest Of Dean.
Sir Busker looks to get back on track for William Knight after trailing home last in the G3 Darley Stakes at Newmarket last month.
The seven-year-old was at the peak of his powers in 2022, winning the G2 York Stakes as well as finishing third behind Baaeed in the G1 Juddmonte International.
Sir Busker chased home Manaafith on his 2023 return in the Listed Tandridge Stakes at Lingfield Park in February before two runs in the Middle East, including a 10th in the G1 Dubai Turf.
Sam Hoskins, syndicate manager for Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds, said: “Sir Busker had a major setback in Dubai in March, when he nearly lost an eye.
“He ran a perfectly commendable race on his comeback at Sandown but we did not feel the track suited him at Newmarket as the ground was pretty soft.
“His work has been progressive through the autumn and he did run well at Lingfield in February. I don’t think there will be many excuses for him on Saturday – it is a big day for him – and we are hopeful he can run a nice race.
“Provided Saturday goes well, I would say there is a good chance he will be kept on the go during the winter, as he doesn’t need a break. It would be nice to think that he can target those nice Listed races as well as the Winter Derby.”
The field is completed by last season’s G3 BetUK Winter Derby runner-up Tyrrhenian Sea (Roger Varian) and the filly Rousay (Richard Hannon), who was third in the G3 Pride Stakes at Newmarket last time out.
Later on the card, last year’s G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint victor Mischief Magic faces 10 rivals in the Listed BetUK Golden Rose Stakes (3.11pm) over six furlongs.
Things did not go to plan for Charlie Appleby’s runner in the first half of this year but he returned from a gelding operation to win a six-furlong conditions race at Kempton Park in early October.
Pink Crystal has made notable progress in recent months for William Haggas, winning a Listed race at Ayr in September before finishing third in the G3 Bengough Stakes at Ascot.
Tacarib Bay (Richard Hannon) looks to follow up his success in the Listed Virgin Bet Every Saturday Money Back Wentworth Stakes at Newcastle last weekend, although he has to concede weight all round.
David O’Meara has two live contenders in last year’s winner Summerghand and Stewards’ Cup hero Aberama Gold, who was fourth behind Tacarib Bay at Newcastle.
James Fanshawe’s William Twee tackles Stakes company for the first time following an eye-catching handicap victory at Kempton Park, while the George Boughey-trained Kinta lines up on the back of a Newmarket handicap success.
For more information, please visit https://www.awchampionships.co.uk/