Matt Chapman | Day One York preview
Sir Michael Stoute’s stable mightn’t be the force it once was but you’d want to be mad to think he’s going to York’s three-day Dante fixture without some serious chances.
Mind you, it won’t be in the Dante, with the news that Telescope is out of the big Derby test – more on that later in the week – as Stoute looks for his first European Group 1 win since the mighty Epsom Derby winner Workforce.
It could, however, be in the Tattersalls Musidora as let’s face it, if there is a possible Epsom contender in this heat then either Stoute’s Liber Nauticus or John Gosden’s Woodland Aria simply have to win – and win well.
Six winners of the Musidora have gone on to victory in the Oaks. The first was Noblesse in 1963 – the most recent Sariska in 2009.
Woodland Aria is definitely worth a close look as connections were bullish when she made a winning debut at Wolverhampton. Gosden has landed the last two Musidora’s with The Fugue and Joviality.
The best of Stoute’s recent Oaks Trial victories at York was Islington in 2002 and both are owned by Ballymacoll Stud.
Liber Nauticus looked a proper prospect on her debut at Goodwood. The second that day was Heading North who has won since as has the fourth Great Timing. Although, third-placed Cushion remains a maiden.
Quite simply, if Liber Nauticus is to prove an Oaks filly she HAS to win the Group 3 Musidora Stakes (2.45) on Wednesday.
For those of you who like big sprints, the Duke of York Stakes (3.15) is the race for you.
I have given favourite Mince a hug back at Roger Charlton’s base, but she will have to run a mighty race to land this first time out – no matter how quickly she’s improving. Penalties make things hard for Gordon Lord Byron and Society Rock, while I am not sure Tickled Pink is as good as her win earlier this season suggested.
It’s a race to look for one that’s over-priced and Swiss Spirit is interesting on the first run for Gosden.
But the one I suggest is Hawkeyethenoo. He’s had the seasonal debut to get rid of the cobwebs and loves York. Graham Lee is a plus and with Paddy Power paying 1/4 the odds the first four home looks a bit tasty at 1t 14/1. Yeeehaaa!