Five horses to oppose at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival

Tue 22 Aug 2017

By Harry Allwood

Horse: Churchill

Race: Juddmonte International Stakes (Wednesday)

General odds: 11-4

The Aidan O’Brien-trained three-year-old finished a disappointing fourth behind Barney Roy in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out. He had previously become the ninth horse to complete the English/Irish 2000 Guineas double at the Curragh.

This will be the son of Galileo’s first run beyond a mile in a race that O’Brien has won five times, but I reckon Barney Roy should be the clear favourite.

Richard Hannon’s son of Excelebration finished an unlucky second behind Churchill in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May before reversing the form at Royal Ascot. He has since finished runner-up to Ulysses in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown last month which was his first attempt over 1m2f.

Churchill has enough to prove and is a lay at the prices.

Horse: Mirage Dancer

Race: Great Voltigeur Stakes (Wednesday)

General odds: 5-1

The son of Frankel ran a career best when third in the Group Three Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot on his latest start. The three-year-old has looked a horse in need of experience in three starts to date and there should be more improvement in him.

His trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, has saddled the winner of this race seven times and that is another positive.

However, Cracksman is going to prove extremely hard to beat. The John Gosden-trained three-year-old looked unlucky in the Irish Derby at the Curragh behind Capri last month. He had previously finished third in the Derby at Epsom.

Despite being progressive, Mirage Dancer will need to step up considerably again to beat Cracksman and should be opposed.

Horse: De Bruyne Horse

Race: Premier Yearling Stakes (Thursday)

General odds: 5-1

The Richard Hannon-trained two-year-old bounced back to form when winning a Listed race in France over seven furlongs this month. He had previously run disappointingly in three starts since winning the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom in June.

Heading the betting for the race is the Richard Fahey-trained Great Prospector. who finished third behind the Aidan O’Brien-trained Gustav Klimt in the Group Two Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last month. That was his second racecourse appearance and he is a worthy favourite.

De Bruyne Horse is likely to be up against some improving individuals with the unbeaten Special Purpose and recent York winner Hey Jonesy prominent in the betting.

Having already had seven runs, the son of Showcasing is vulnerable to a lightly-raced improvers and should be taken on.

Horse: Nezwaah

Race: Yorkshire Oaks (Thursday)

General odds: 6-1 (lay for a place)

The Roger Varian-trained four-year-old was an impressive winner of the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on her latest start and is unbeaten in two starts this season.

The daughter of Dubawi is set to take on the brilliant Enable, a three-time Group One winner this season who will prove extremely hard to beat.

Sir Michael Stoute, who is looking for a record-breaking tenth win in this race, runs Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Queen’s Trust. She will need to bounce back to form having disappointed on soft ground behind Winter in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood last time out. However, she has some smart form next to her name at the highest level and the better ground will suit.

Nezwaah is clearly progressive but will need to improve again to be competitive and is worth laying for a place.

Horse: Battaash

Race: Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (Friday)

General Odds: 7-4

The son of Dark Angel is unbeaten in three starts season since being gelded in the winter. He is yet to prove himself at Group One level but looked capable of remaining competitive at the highest level when winning the Group Two King George Stakes at Goodwood in impressive fashion this month.

The Charlie Hills-trained three-year-old will be meeting two-time Royal Ascot winner Lady Aurelia for the first time and she has won twice at Group One level. The Wesley Ward-trained filly worked impressively on the Knavesmire under Frankie Dettori on Friday morning and has only once suffered defeat in six starts.

Although Battaash is on the upgrade, he will need to progress again to lower the colours of the American raider who looked out of the top drawer when winning the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

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