Marnane lines up Nunthorpe raid
Tuesday 14 August 2012
David Marnane is excited about the prospect of saddling his star sprinters Dandy Boy and Nocturnal Affair in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York next week.
Dandy Boy gave the trainer a taste of Royal Ascot glory when landing the Wokingham Stakes in June, but he failed to get competitive in a July Cup run in very testing conditions, and Marnane admits dropping back to five furlongs at York is not ideal.
"We've had a think about it and we've decided we're going to have a crack at the Nunthorpe with Dandy Boy, weather permitting," said the trainer.
"It is going to depend on there being decent ground at York, but there are a lack of opportunities for him and that's the way we're thinking at the moment.
"Five furlongs might be a little bit sharp for him, but it should give us a good picture of where we are and give us some idea about whether he's up to that level. We hoped to find out at Newmarket in the July Cup but with the way the ground went, we didn't really learn anything there."
Stablemate Nocturnal Affair is an interesting challenger for the prestigious Knavesmire prize.
The six-year-old ran some superb races at the Dubai Carnival at Meydan during the winter, winning a valuable handicap and signing off with a close-up sixth behind Ortensia in the Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup night.
He ran a fine second on his return from a near five-month break in the Abergwaun Stakes at Tipperary on Friday night and Marnane feels his charge will be a better horse at York on August 24.
The trainer went on: "I was thrilled with him, it was just what we wanted. I was really pleased with how he travelled throughout the race on ground he'd never run on before and he should improve a fair bit for the run. He seems to have tightened up and has come out of the race in good form.
"Ideally I wish we had another week before York, but he'll be fine and it's great for a small yard like us to have two really nice horses going for a race like the Nunthorpe."