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Think back in Champion frame

A total of 17 horses are still engaged in the Qipco Champion Stakes which will be run at Ascot for the first time on Saturday.

Aidan O'Brien's So You Think is now back in the picture after positive comments from the Ballydoyle handler at the weekend and he could attempt to bounce back from his fourth place in the Arc at the beginning of the month.

O'Brien has also left in Await The Dawn who returned from his defeat at York a sick horse. Windsor Palace is another Coolmore possible.

John Gosden's King George winner Nathaniel remains in the mix but Gosden will be anxiously watching the skies for rain all week.

Henry Cecil finally won the Juddmonte International for the sponsor, Khalid Abdullah, with Twice Over, and the tough six-year-old will be attempting to win the Champion Stakes for a third time at the weekend.

Joining him will be the mare Midday, second at York but winner of a third Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

Godolphin could be represented by Casamento and Dubai Prince who were both promising juveniles last year but have had interrupted campaigns this term.

However, last year's Racing Post Trophy winner Casamento returned to winning ways in France last time.

Snow Fairy is still in the mix for Ed Dunlop while Jim Bolger's Banimpire could turn out again.

Henry Cecil does not expect Frankel to resume front-running tactics on his final scheduled appearance of the year in Saturday's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Cecil was reluctant to disclose too many details of potential tactics, but the legendary trainer would prefer for the unbeaten-in-eight colt not to repeat his trailblazing exploits in the 2000 Guineas.

That was the second of Frankel's four runs this season and he was ridden with more restraint by Tom Queally on his most recent outing in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

Worryingly for his opponents at Ascot, of which there were nine confirmed, including Frankel's pacemaker and lead-horse Bullet Train, Cecil believes he is still getting better.

"I feel he's definitely an improving horse," Cecil said. "If they go a decent gallop I'm not worried about Bullet Train, but he's in there if I need him."