Nathaniel was not the force that Frankel was on the racecourse, but I think that he is punching at a much higher weight in the stud department and this point can be underlined once again with Intellect, who I believe can win a competitive Betfred Melrose Stakes on the final day of York’s Ebor Festival this afternoon.
Sir Michael Stoute is in terrific form and this three-year-old has it all: a lightly-raced improver, will appreciate the step up in trip to 1m5f188y and is quite a price.
I often choose to be against these types when the Classic generation are taking on their elders. In this race limited to three-year-olds, with a horse who won so impressively last time out at Newbury, I am more than happy to stick with him.
Quite what Pat Cosgrave was doing last time out on Headway at Goodwood when he went to the stands’ side rail as the rest went down the centre was beyond me.
Even with impossibly wrong tactics, however, the horse ran a solid race and I think he can win the Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes, one of my favourite two-year-old races in the calendar.
It will never be won by the likes of 1975 winner Music Boy in this day and age, sadly, but William Haggas has links with Yorkshire and he showed that his string had not lost their form with an impressive one-two in the last race on Friday.
He looked a serious prospect when second in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and that form is good enough to win this.
Standard handicappers do not win the Betfred Ebor these days and Dubka is one of several Group-class horses contesting Saturday’s race.
She ran a cracker when second at Goodwood last time out and, although flattered by getting as close to Endless Time, she still might win Europe’s most valuable handicap off 102.
That Josephine Gordon rides is absolutely a positive, as regular readers of this column know. There will be extra place concessions on this race so I recommend taking the best offers available about this Sir Michael Stoute-trained filly.
Dave Nevison’s Saturday tips: (Prices correct at 9am)
3.00 York: Headway at 7-2 generally available