Deep Brillante's connections plan to rewrite history in the King GeorgePICTURE: Masakazu Takahashi
Stars set to do battle in King George showdown
THERE will be more than just pride at stake on Saturday when ten rivals from across the globe fight it out in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Japan are represented in the Betfair-backed Group 1 and last year's winner Nathaniel, who dug deep to land the Coral-Eclipse on his seasonal reapparance last time out, will bid to reign supreme against some talented rivals.
Nathaniel's opposition will include four-time Group 1 winner St Nicholas Abbey, Melbourne Cup hero Dunaden, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe darling Danedream, Ladbrokes St Leger scorer Masked Marvel as well as Japanese Derby winner Deep Brillante.
Sea Moon, who will bid to give trainer Sir Michael Stoute a record sixth success in the race, will join fellow Royal Ascot winner Brown Panther in the line-up for the £1 million contest and Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Sea Moon's owner Khalid Abdullah, did not shy away from enormity of the task facing his team.
Grimthorpe said: "He has come on since Royal Ascot. We hope there is more to come because if he is going to win he needs to be on his best game. It's a very high-class renewal."
The connections of Deep Brillante, the only three-year-old in the field, have been bullish in the build up to the race and trainer Yoshito Yahagi was in similar mood on Friday.
He said: "Before we flew over we were a bit concerned about a few things, but once again I have reconfirmed that he has the power and mind of a Derby winner. We are here to win.
"I had always thought that the way to win the King George was with a three-year-old and this time, because he was in good form, I thought this was our chance. He has 5.5 kg [7lb] less to carry than the older horses. I plan to rewrite history."
Nathaniel is the general 11-4 favourite, although he is joined in places by Sea Moon with St Nicholas Abbey not far behind at 7-2.