Willie Mullins and Vauban return to Britain as seven declared for Yorkshire Cup on Friday

Vauban: easy winner at Royal Ascot last season for Willie Mullins
Vauban: easy winner at Royal Ascot last season for Willie Mullins Credit: Alex Pantling (Getty Images)

The all-conquering Willie Mullins is to field his first runner in Britain since being crowned champion trainer over jumps after Vauban was one of seven declared for Friday's Boodles Yorkshire Cup (3.45).

The six-year-old has not been seen since finishing midfield when sent off 9-2 favourite in the Melbourne Cup in November and it will be his first race in Britain since running out an explosive seven-and-a-half length winner at Royal Ascot. He is 4-1 to win the Group 2 Flat prize.

Jockey William Buick will ride Vauban for the first time and will be seeking just his second win for the Mullins stable. 

He takes over from Ryan Moore, who rides Tower Of London for his boss Aidan O'Brien. The four-year-old, fourth in last year's St Leger, heads the betting having recorded victories in Saudi Arabia and Dubai already this year.

Tower Of London wins the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan
Tower Of London: favourite for Friday's Yorkshire CupCredit: Neville Hopwood

Giavellotto struck at 14-1 in this race 12 months ago and will bid to emulate the great stayer Stradivarius by going back-to-back. The Marco Botti-trained five-year-old has not won since that Knavesmire success but was a close third to Tower Of London in February, the only time Friday's jockey Oisin Murphy has been aboard.

Gregory, last seen finishing fifth in the St Leger, will be ridden by James Doyle for the first time. He replaces Kieran Shoemark, who was given the Classic ride at Doncaster and has been the preferred rider for the John and Thady Gosden stable since Frankie Dettori's move to the US.

Naqeeb and Al Qareem were also declared along with Hamish, who also has the option of Newbury's Aston Park Stakes on Saturday.

Tower Of London is as short as 6-1 for next month's Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in a market headed by his stablemate Kyprios, who is set to make his second start of the season in the Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes (7.05) at Leopardstown on Friday. 

Kyprios: Ascot Gold Cup favourite also runs on Friday
Kyprios: Ascot Gold Cup favourite also runs on FridayCredit: Patrick McCann

The six-year-old was unbeaten in 2022, winning four consecutive Group 1s, including the Gold Cup, but his 2023 campaign was blighted by injury and he did not make his reappearance until September, when he finished second in the Irish St Leger. 

He was a comfortable winner on his first start this campaign in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan, where he finished three and a quarter lengths clear of Queenstown.

The final day of the Dante festival will also likely prove informative for Royal Ascot with Godolphin's twice-raced and unbeaten Devoted Queen declared for the Sky Bet Fillies' Stakes (3.15). She could step closer to the Coronation Stakes, for which she is 33-1 in the ante-post market,

A field of 24 two-year-old fillies will line up in the Clipper EBF Marygate Fillies' Stakes (2.15) including winners Enchanting Express, Running Queen and Ruby's Profit.

Yorkshire Cup confirmed runners and riders

Tower Of London Ryan Moore
Al Qareem
Clifford Lee
Oisin Murphy
 James Doyle
Jim Crowley
Ryan Moore

bet365: 11-8 Tower Of London, 4 Vauban, 13-2 Giavellotto, 7 Hamish, 8 Al Qareem, 9 Gregory, 25 Naqeeb

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James StevensWest Country correspondent