Al Kazeem (right) faces Camelot (left) in Prince of Wales's StakesPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Camelot and Al Kazeem set to battle again
THE STAGE is set for round two of Al Kazeem's battle with Camelot, as the pair lock horns again in the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes.
Aidan O'Brien's runner will attempt to reverse the Tattersalls Gold Cup form of last month when Al Kazeem triumphed by a length and a half at the Curragh.
O'Brien has hit the ground running at the royal meeting, with a double on the opening day courtesy of Declaration Of War and War Command, and he hopes Camelot has come on for his last run.
O'Brien said: "Royal Ascot was always going to be Camelot's main target and his big test in the first half of the season. He's had two races since undergoing major surgery at the end of last season and we've been building him gradually for the Prince Of Wales's Stake. We've been very happy with him since his last run and he is going there in good form."
Another victory over Camelot would confirm Al Kazeem's progression to Group 1 winner was no fluke, and trainer Roger Charlton is looking forward to the rematch. He said: "He looks fantastic, his temperament is good and he's a tough, sound horse. He ticks the boxes but this is a more competitive field.
"Camelot seems to be quite fancied so they are not giving up on him but my horse won with a bit in hand and came there very easily. I am optimistic he has a very good chance of confirming that run. "
An extra ingredient to throw into what is already an exciting contest is the return of The Fugue, not seen since finishing third at Santa Anita in the Breeders' Cup Filly And Mare Turf last November.
The harsh winter was tough on the filly according to trainer John Gosden, who said: "She had a very tough winter and spring. She didn't much enjoy it. She is just coming up for a run now. It had been the hope to run her in the Middleton but it came far too soon. She has come in her coat and is ready to get back on the track again.
"The easier option would have been going in the Duke Of Cambridge but I think it was felt that a mile and a quarter is her trip. Though she has the speed for the mile, the idea was to run here to see where to go with her afterwards. We're very pleased with her. She wouldn't want to see any rain."