Haafhd Leads Stellar Opening Royal Ascot Field

Hamdan Al Maktoum's Haafhd, winner of the English Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) last month, heads a field of 11 entered for the St. James's Palace Stakes during opening day at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

Barry Hills' colt is one of three Derby winners in the field, which includes James Toller's Bachelor Duke, who won the Irish version The Curragh, and the William Haggas-conditioned Brunel, who captured the Mehl-Mulhens-Rennen in Cologne.

In winning his race at Newmarket, Haafhd was six lengths in front of Bachelor Duke, who was seventh.

Azamour, trained by John Oxx, looms the major challenger in the field after finishing third in Newmarket's Two Thousand Guineas and second in the Irish race. Antonius Pius, who was on his way to victory for Aidan O'Brien in the French Two Thousand Guineas (Fr-I) before banging the rail near the wire, is also in the field.

Diamond Green, ridden by Gary Stevens for trainer Andre Fabre, is the only French-based entrant. He was second in the French Two Thousand Guineas. Godolphin's Byron, third at Longchamp, also comes to Royal Ascot from that race.

Pearl Of Love, a group I winner at 2, and maiden winner Castleton join the field.