He ran the race of his life in last month’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot when failing by neck to hold off Enable .
Many will argue that Enable deserves the accolade as the best in the world, but it is worth pointing out that she was receiving 3lb at Ascot.
Now a five-year-old, Crystal Ocean is at the peak of his powers and can give his trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, a record seventh victory in the race.
Stoute also runs Regal Reality but this wayward character is held on his recent running by Elarqam.
In recent month’s Aidan O’Brien’s runners have not been hitting the target but if there is a revival in the stable’s fortunes Japan has solid each-way claims.
He finished third in the Derby, behind Anthony Van Dyck, and has since won his last two races like a smart colt.
In opening event GUNMETAL (1.55) can reward his patient connections. The gelding was fancied to make it successive victories in last Saturday’s Great St Wilfrid at Ripon until soft ground ruled out his participation.
The prize went Dakota Gold who attempts a quick double under a 6lb penalty.
Gunmetal slammed Dakota Gold in last year’s Great St Wilfrid and is now 9lb better off.
The progressive KINGBROOK (2.25, nap) can land the Acombe Stakes.
He only beat Manigordo a neck at Ascot on his recent run but connections of the runner-up rate their colt highly.
Also, Kingbrook’s previous run at Haydock, when third behind Path Of Thunder, is reading well.
Path Of Thunder has since won well along with Encipher, the second home in that Haydock contest.
The unbeaten Logician will have numerous supporters, but his credentials fall short of NAYEF ROAD (3.00).
On his recent outing at Goodwood Nayef Road had the smart Constantinople (now 3lb better off) a neck behind him and Jalmoud back in seventh place.
At the weights, Constantinople should turn the tables, but Nayef Road showed the superior batting qualities and I expect him to come out on top again.
Frankie Dettori is an eye-catching booking for DUBAWI FIFTY (4.15, nb).
The gelding faces a big task under top weight but there is no better man to nurse one home.
2.45 El Picador
2.05 Bal Mal
2.35 Alix James
3.10 Bedtime Bella
3.45 Music Society
4.55 Iconic Code
5.25 Mecca’s Gift
5.55 Knightly Spirit
5.45 D Day
7.15 Alfurat River
7.45 Highland Sky
8.15 Travel On
8.45 Indian Viceroy
2.25 Kingbrook (nap)
3.00 Nayef Road
3.35 Crystal Ocean (treble)
4.15 Dubai Fifty (nb)
6.00 That’s A Given
6.30 West Coast Flyer
7.00 Global Anchor
7.30 Pogo I Am