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JOHNNY DRAMA won here at York two starts ago in a competitive handicap over 1m 2f last month. He is proven at this trip of 1m 4f, and in a wide-open contest he has to be really competitive at what could be a nice each-way price. I really like the chances of Midnights Legacy too as Alan King’s colt will love the conditions.
It was a very lacklustre effort from STRADIVARIUS at Royal Ascot last time and the question remains is he past his best? I still believe this ground gives him the edge over Trueshan. If it was softer, then I would be concerned, but I am sticking with the Stradivarius to take the Lonsdale Cup Stakes.
Lusail will be one of the favourites on the back of a couple of really good wins at Newmarket over 6 and 7 furlongs. BERKSHIRE SHADOW won the Coventry Stakes very nicely and, back on quick ground, he can make his presence felt. I really like Berkshire Shadow and I’m willing to forgive him a poor run on very soft ground at Goodwood last time out.
The Nunthorpe Stakes is unique in that it is open to two-year-olds. Not many contest it, but this year we have a live challenger as Chipotle tries to take advantage of the massive weight allowance against the older horses. Throw in American raider in Golden Pal it not only makes this a race for the ages, but a very international contest as we have the French-trained SUESA too.
Suesa is very fast but appreciates some cut in the ground. We don’t know that she won’t appreciate good ground just as much! I was super-impressed with her at Goodwood as she beat some solid yardsticks.
This race will be run at a fast pace as Winter Power and Golden Pal are font runners so we could see a track-record breaking time. Golden Pal is the one to beat coming from expert sprint trainer Wesley Ward’s US stable, but he won’t change my mind when it comes to Suesa.
The family of VINTAGE CHOICE has produced three first-time out winners as two-year-olds. I always think that bodes well for this type of race. William Haggas loves a winner at York and it’s interesting that the colt makes his racecourse debut in this contest.
JEWEL IN MY CROWN is trained by a shrewd operator in Rae Guest and he has brought this filly along nicely from a lowly win at Brighton to this. She is very much on the up and is an improving three-year-old. Don’t be surprised if she is right in the mix towards the end of this race.
Hughie Morrison is another trainer who likes to bring his horses along gently, and that’s certainly what he has done with MARSABIT. He was very narrowly beaten in a decent handicap at Ascot last time and has to be respected in here with only 8st 3lb on his back.
13:50 Johnny Drama
15:00 Berkshire Shadow
16:10 Vintage Choice
16:40 Jewel In My Crown
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