Stoute and the Aga enjoyed a fruitful association -including winning the Derby twice in the 1980s with Shergar and Shahrastani -before the owner withdrew his horses from Britain over the Aliysa affair. The Stoute- trained filly, first past the post in the 1989 Oaks, was disqualified after traces of the banned substance camphor were found in her urine sample.
However, after making his peace with the Jockey Club over its drug-testing procedures, the Aga said last year that he would revive his involvment with British racing, and the Luca Cumani-trained Mandilak marked his return with a win at Yarmouth a fortnight ago.
On hearing that his yard would also benefit from a return of the owner's patronage, Stoute said: "While the initial numbers are small, in my conversations with the Aga Khan quality was a more important consideration than quantity."
The Aga Khan will send 32 yearlings to John Oxx in Ireland, 53 to Alain de Royer-Dupre in France and 14 to Cumani.
Mr Mulligan, the Sun Alliance Chase runner-up, will bypass the Hennessy Gold Cup in favour of Chepstow's Rehearsal Chase on 7 December, where he will be ridden by the leading conditional jockey Richard Johnson.
Johnson was replaced aboard Marching Marquis, owned like Mr Mulligan by Michael Worcester, at Exeter last week, having been unseated from the same horse at Cheltenham on 29 October. But Worcester denied that the move constituted sacking Johnson, and yesterday Mr Mulligan's trainer, Noel Chance, confirmed: "It was a storm in a tea cup and it has all been sorted out now."
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