They made Enable do it the hard way on Thursday and she did, leading every yard of the one mile three furlongs and 188 yards of the Yorkshire Oaks. Shaken-up at the two-pole she never looked in danger as she pulled away from Magical; the ¾ of a length superiority from Sandown extended to 2¾ lengths here at York. Longchamp on the 6th October and a place in history now await the wonderful mare.
Day three on the Knavesmire is a day of extremes with the 5f Nunthorpe Stakes and the two-mile Lonsdale Cup. The two-mile Group Two Lonsdale Cup Stakes at 2.25 looks completely at the mercy of Stradivarius. The John Gosden trained king of the stayers won this last year on his way to the million-pound bonus and looks set to do the same this season. He is generally 1-2 so basically un-backable unless you double him up with something. Dee Ex Bee keeps getting close but close aint good enough and let's be honest Stradivarius looked like he had a little left in the tank at Ascot and Goodwood even if Dee Ex Bee had managed to find a bit more. The Champ never wins by far, but he keeps winning. 8-15 was the best price about Thursday afternoon.
The 6f Group Two Gimcrack Stakes at 3.00 has some nice young’uns lining-up as you would expect. I put Threat up at Glorious Goodwood in the G.2 Richmond Stakes when he was second to Golden Horde, third in the G.1 Prix Morny at the weekend. Before that, he was second to Arizona in the G.2 Coventry and that colt was fourth in the Morny at the weekend. It’s fair to say he came up against a couple of decent types there and is perhaps unlucky to have form figures of 1,2,2. My biggest concern in the run-up was if Monarch Of Egypt came over from Ballydoyle but he doesn’t so I happily took the 9-4 a couple of days ago.
It’s the big sprint at 3.35 the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes. I can’t back Battaash, as I have said several times before he is a monkey, but more importantly than his questionable temperament is the fact he has been turned over in this the last two years. Ten Sovereigns is rated only 1lb inferior and gets 2lb so this could be close the Ballydoyle 3yo dropping down to the minimum trip for the first time; there has been money for him all week. The concern with him is will things be happening a bit quick for him? The mare Mabbs Cross will no doubt run her race again and is priced-up as such by the bookies. Soldiers Call is an out and out speedball and will go off like a scalded cat. I think the Archie Watson trained 3yo is a fair each-way punt at 12-1 as there are questions about the big two and this nice colt won’t mind the conditions one bit.
Recent winner for me Last Look goes in the 4.00 at Ffos Las the 1m2f British Stallion Studs Ebf Fillies' Handicap. She had five entries this week, including a Listed heat at York, so looks significant that team Godolphin have plumped for this race. She opens her handicap career off a mark of 90 with Gabriele Malune taking off 3lb I think she is going to be better than this level, annoyingly the bookies seem to agree and opened up 4-6!