Aidan O'Brien may have preferred the traditional home of Epsom as the staging for this year's Coronation Cup, but is confident that last year's Derby hero on the Downs - Anthony Van Dyck - can still go well in this year's renewal at Newmarket on Friday.

The mile-and-a-half showpiece has been switched from Epsom due to the impact of the coronavirus shutdown on the regular calendar, but has still attracted a top-class field, including Ascot Gold Cup hero Stradivarius.

Not since he was beaten in a Chester handicap in May 2017 has John Gosden's star stayer run over a mile and a half.

His trainer said: "As I've said to everybody, Stradivarius is in good form and we are looking forward to getting him going.

"It is the shortest trip he has run over for some time, but we need to have a prep race before the Gold Cup.

"The essential thing is that we have this prep race before he tries to defend the Gold Cup."

Anthony Van Dyck would arguably have benefited from the race being run at Epsom, as he enjoyed his finest hour there 12 months ago.

The Galileo colt is one of two runners for O'Brien along with Broome, who was fourth to his stablemate in the blue riband.

The trainer said: "I don't know much about the mile and a half at Newmarket, but I would imagine you'd need to get a mile and a half very well to get the trip. We haven't had a lot of runners over that trip in Newmarket.

"We just thought soft ground at Ascot (in the King George last year) wasn't the right thing to do with Anthony Van Dyck, and he paid for it. But he's in good form now, we're happy with his work and the plan would be to keep him on good ground.

"He's doing everything right at the moment."

 Andrea Atzeni rides Defoe to victory in the 2019 Coronation Cup

Having taken this race last year, supporters of Defoe might also have preferred to be at Epsom, but Roger Varian's six-year-old has winning form at Newmarket and his trainer is unperturbed at the switch, although he is mindful of the opposition.

Varian said ahead of a race which again forms parts of the Qipco British Champions Series: "Defoe is a horse who tells you when he's right and is giving us the right messages. He's on his racing weight, he's come good in his skin and he seems to have a bounce with him.

"He's tuned-in for the race, but it might take a career best to win it because the race looks a touch stronger this year.

"He seemed to really love Epsom last year, when he put it to bed in a few strides and won going away. But, saying that, he's run well at Newmarket the couple of times he's performed there and I don't think the track holds too many fears for him."