The mighty Frankel pocketed the last two renewals but this year's contest should prove more competitive with DAWN APPROACH and Toronado locking horns once again. Jim Bolger's faith in the former remained undimmed after a disastrous showing in the Derby and he bounced back to record his fourth win at the highest level with a hard-fought victory in the St James's Palace Stakes at Ascot when just prevailing over Toronado. There'll be little between that pair in this but he's beaten Richard Hannon's colt twice now and gets the vote to do so once again. Declaration Of War came up short over 1m2f in the Eclipse at Sandown last time but beat both Gregorian and Trade Storm in the Queen Anne over today's trip at Ascot before that. He'll need more to get the better of the three-year-olds on today's terms, however, while both Reply and Leitir Mor will ensure there's a proper pace.
Declaration Of War (USA) 4-1 (9-7) Tracked leading trio, ridden and went 3rd over 1f out, driven and hung right inside final furlong, stayed on to 2nd final 75 yards, no impression on winner, 2nd of 7, 2l behind Al Kazeem (9-7) at Sandown 1m 2f Grp 1 (1) gf.
Gregorian (IRE) 16-1 (9-0) Mid-division, headway over 2f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong, soon headed, stayed on, 3rd of 13, 1 1/4l behind Declaration Of War (9-0) at Royal Ascot 1m Grp 1 (1) gd in Jun.
Reply (IRE) 16-1 (9-4) Soon mid-division, no impression and kept on same pace from over 1f out, 22nd of 30, 9l behind Burn The Boats (8-8) at Curragh 6f hcp gd in Jun.
Trade Storm 9-1 (9-4) Held up in rear, headway on outside over 1f out, stayed on to 3rd inside final furlong, dropped to 4th last strides, 4th of 11, 1 3/4l behind Aljamaaheer (9-1) at Ascot 1m Grp 2 (1) gf.
Dawn Approach (IRE) 5-4fav (9-0) Keen in touch, ridden 2f out, headway when bumped and hampered over 1f out, led entering final furlong, soon joined, ran on strongly, gamely, won at Royal Ascot 1m 3yo Grp 1 (1) gd in Jun beating Toronado (9-0) by shd, 9 ran.
Leitir Mor (IRE) 9-1 (9-5) Keen hold and led, strongly pressed and headed over 1 1/2f out, dropped to 3rd and kept on same pace inside final furlong, 3rd of 5, 3l behind Darwin (9-2) at Curragh 7f Grp 3 (1) gf.
Toronado (IRE) 5-1 (9-0) In rear, headway on outer when bumped and hampered over 1f out, ridden to join winner inside final furlong, ran on, just held, 2nd of 9, shd behind Dawn Approach (9-0) at Royal Ascot 1m 3yo Grp 1 (1) gd in Jun.