ST NICHOLAS ABBEY could face up to eight rivals when he defends his crown in the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup at Epsom on Saturday.
Aidan O'Brien's five-year-old gained a narrow verdict over top-class mare Midday in the mile-and-a-half Group One last season, which has this year been switched from its traditional Friday slot to Investec Derby day.
St Nicholas Abbey endured a slightly disappointing summer, but ended the year on a high by landing the Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs.
He has been beaten into second on his two starts this year, most recently when failing to catch his pacemaker, Windsor Palace, in the Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh.
Windsor Palace is also engaged in Saturday's race, along with fellow Ballydoyle inmates Treasure Beach and Robin Hood.
Ed Dunlop's Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux gained a deserved victory in the Yorkshire Cup earlier this month and could bid to supplement that victory this weekend.
Beaten Up lost his unbeaten record when sixth in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March, but remains an interesting horse for William Haggas.
John Gosden's St Leger hero, Masked Marvel, Godolphin's Monterosso, and Luca Cumani's Quest For Peace complete the confirmations.
Marcus Tregoning is aiming for a second Investec Derby victory with Cavaleiro at Epsom on Saturday -- six years after Sir Percy prevailed in a blanket finish.
Cavaleiro may be an outsider at the weekend, but is guaranteed nearly as many column inches as the hot favourite Camelot as he will be ridden by Hayley Turner, only the second female to ride in the race after Alex Greaves. He finished third in the Lingfield Derby Trial and returned to the Surrey track to put the finishing touches on his preparations.
"The piece of work Cavaleiro did at Lingfield on Saturday was the best bit of work he has done all year and we were very happy with that," said Tregoning.
"I really do like him -- he will stay very well and hopefully he will be able to go the pace. We can do what we want with him as he is a very straightforward ride and I imagine we will be tracking the pace -- they don't normally hang around in the Derby.
"It's extraordinary having such a small field, possibly because people are scared of taking on Camelot, but it's a strange year.
"It's a huge opportunity for Hayley Turner and for everyone.
"I think she is very good for racing and she will give Cavaleiro a very good ride."
Cavaleiro is one of 12 possible runners in the Derby, which is headed, of course, by the 2000 Guineas winner Camelot.