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York Ebor Festival Preview - Day 3

The third afternoon of York's Ebor Festival on Friday is all about blistering speed - with the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at 3.35pm taking centre stage - one of the fastest five-furlong sprints in the calendar. There's also the Lonsdale Cup (2.25pm) as the mighty stayer Stradivarius bids for more glory in the twilight of his career. Racing at York on Friday is from 1.50pm-5.20pm and the Racing Post previews all the action.


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1.50pm - Sky Bet Handicap (Heritage Handicap, 1m4f)

David O'Meara's Charging Thunder has been in excellent form since a pair of cheekpieces were applied, posting figures of 15112 since June. He was a good second at Ascot's Shergar Cup meeting recently, and has handled York in the past. He's inched up another 1lb, but does get Ryan Moore's services to offset that.

Cormier won last month at Chester and boasts winning C&D form in his locker, Brian Ellison's charge is considered despite an 8lb hike, while a pair of first-time cheekpieces could perk up Ravenscraig Castle for Iain Jardine from what looks a handy mark.

FARHAN was progressive last year as a 3YO, culminating with his November Handicap win at Doncaster on second start at this trip. He shaped well on comeback at Kempton in April and surely wasn't himself when only fifth of sixth at Hamilton in May. Given a break since, he's very capable when fresh and has in-form Neil Callan in the plate here. John Butler's colt is capable of a leading role.

Selection: Farhan

Next Best: Charging Thunder

 

2.25pm - Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes (Group 2, 2m½f)

With the ground forecast as 'Good-good to firm in places' as of Thursday morning, it seems improbable that Trueshan will take his chance here, with Alan King having stated this week he won't be running on a fast surface.

That means the stage may be cleared for STRADIVARIUS to win a fourth Lonsdale Cup. John & Thady Gosden's now-veteran star ran a blinder at Goodwood last month, inched out by Kyprios as they raced wide apart on the track late on, with Trueshan accompanying the winner, but only good enough to finish third.

Perhaps given her time over, Hollie Doyle might not have made such a rapid forward move with Trueshan from three furlongs out in that contest.

It is, however, the strongest form available and a replication here should be good enough for Stradivarius and Andrea Atzeni.

Coltrane was third at Goodwood, some 4½-lengths behind the Gosden star, and should be in the shake-up for minors again, especially with Tashkhan another contender wanting some rain.

Mostly Cloudy has made rapid progress in handicaps at up to two miles this summer, winning his last five starts for trainer Gemma Tutty, and while this is a different ball game, he's not yet hit his limit and could sneak some place money at a big price.

Selection: Stradivarius

Next Best: Mostly Cloudy

 

3.00pm - Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes (Group 2, 6f)

ROYAL SCOTSMAN followed up a fine third in what was a good Coventry Stakes at Ascot in June by justifying strong market support to win last month's Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in stylish fashion.

It looked probable that he would head for Group 1 company next, but a trip to France was sidestepped in favour of this race. He's got to defy a 3lb penalty now, but that wouldn't have helped Richmond third Chateau three weeks ago and he can confirm that superiority on the revised terms.

The bigger dangers could present themselves via unbeaten pair Noble Style (Charlie Appleby) and Marshman (Karl Burke).

The latter showed the speed of his sire, Harry Angel, when rocketing clear in a Thirsk novice this month to make it 2-2 and warrants this step up in class. The Godolphin inmate, meanwhile, is by Kingman and boasts win at Ascot (5f) and Newmarket (6f) in May/July. He had Millstream behind in second last time - that rival only fourth in the Acomb here on Wednesday.

They both have bright futures and are ahead of Clearpoint - also 2-2 for Richard Fahey - but they will do well to put the fire out for Royal Scotsman today.

Selection: Royal Scotsman

Next Best: Marshman

 

3.35pm - Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1, 5f)

The unbeaten Royal Acclaim is all the rage for this Nunthorpe since her impressive Listed score over C&D last month. James Tate's filly is clearly smart and going places but, on the mere strength of that win, she's perhaps too short in the betting stepping into the ring with both seasoned sprinters and equally promising youngsters alike. She should, however, go well.

Khaadem won the Group 2 King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood three weeks ago, just holding off the fast-finishing Raasel in second with Lazuli right behind in a close fourth. That's excellent form and the trio of protagonists come here with hopes of going close again.

Last year's winner Winter Power hasn't scaled those same heights this summer and requires a bounce-back, while Dragon Symbol is another that needs to recapture his best 3YO form. He had a confidence-boosting win at Hamilton last time in a weaker race but his two Group-race outings this term - including over 6f here in May - have been disappointing. He was, though, third in this last summer and if he turned a corner with that win in Scotland, he's a big price.

Kingsgate Native (2007) is the only 2YO this century to win the Nunthorpe and THE PLATINUM QUEEN might be one to join her for Richard Fahey. The Cotai Glory filly never got a blow in during the Queen Mary at Ascot in June (raced in rear) but has won all three of her other starts.

She scored here in July and took apart a Glorious Goodwood Conditions race since. This is her acid test but she gets lumps of weight via her age/sex allowances and Hollie Doyle's partner could be hard to catch in what is not a vintage renewal of this Group 1 sprint.

Selection: The Platinum Queen

Next Best: Dragon Symbol

 

4.10pm - Assured Data Protection EBF Fillies' Handicap (Heritage Handicap, 1m2½f)

William Haggas' good week can continue via the progressive AMANZOE, winner of her last three starts. She came through to win in smooth enough fashion at Ascot on Shergar Cup Day and as an improving three-year-old filly, looks certain to carry on her upward trajectory. A mark of 93 is one she can hope to exploit and Tom Marquand is back on board now.

Top-weight Via Sistina makes her seasonal reappearance and is worth a close look in the market, while Glorious Goodwood winner State Occasion is enjoying a consistent season and isn't to be crossed off in haste having gone up another 5lb.

Roger Varian fires two at the target, lightly-raced pair Croachill and Shampion. The former was beaten at odds-on last time in a tactical three-runner race over further but may do better, while Andrea Atzeni's partner won well in a Windsor novice at this trip to open her account.

Selection: Amanzoe

Next Best: Croachill

 

4.45pm - British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Maiden Stakes (7f)

This is always a decent maiden and was won last year by 2022 Epsom Derby second Hoo Ya Mal. Newcomers Hi Royal, No Barrier and Captain Wentworth command some thought, while Aidan O'Brien's Salt Lake City is a son of Galileo likely capable of improving sharply on his Curragh (7f, good) debut second 13 days ago.

That said, DESERT ORDER has twice placed in maidens at Newmarket and Sandown already. His debut race has worked out well (three subsequent winners in behind) while he was short-headed behind promising John Gosden inmate Arrest this month at Sandown over a mile, giving best only very late, the pair having spread-eagled the field. That's the strongest piece of form.

Selection: Desert Order

Next Best: Salt Lake City

 

5.20pm - Sky Bet Mile Handicap (1m)

Last year's winning combo of Ryan Moore riding for the Gosden's appear to hold strong claims again with Operating. The War Front colt is progressing quickly and made short work of his handicap debut at Nottingham five weeks ago. He's 8lb higher and has to be on any shortlist, though the form of that win hasn't worked out especially well.

Another one to be up 8lb is Godolphin inmate Bay Of Honour following his Newmarket win 13 days ago. He has two wins in three starts this season and looks sure to improve further, but he's giving weight away all round him now.

Golden Voice is very consistent for the Haggas/Marquand team, with figures of 12112 this term, and should be a player while penalised Salisbury winner Leuven Power has claims for Roger Varian from what remains a good mark.

POINT LYNAS did it the hard way at Redcar last time, continuing his trait of race-by-race progress for new trainer Ed Bethell and he should make another bold bid having only gone up 2lb.

Selection: Point Lynas

Next Best: Golden Voice

 

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