A fantastic Friday of horserac...

Racing

A fantastic Friday of horseracing at York and The Curragh

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

10:54 23 Aug 2019


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The once-off quality of Enable is unlikely to be topped anytime soon, let alone a day later. However, the variety of horseracing on offer today has punters salivating.

Tomorrow's Ebor is the most valuable flat handicap in horseracing, but today has stayers and speedsters. Stradivarius is looking to seal back to back wins in the Londsdale Cup at York today and secure a second £1 million stayers' bonus in the process.

Dee Ex Bee will again be in opposition, but all evidence suggests he will again come up short. Frankie has proven he gets a sweet tune out of Stradivarius and the stayer looks unstoppable over extended trips in this part of the world. He is already odds-on for Champions Day at Ascot in October.

Trainer John Gosden is fond of convincing owners to "roll the big dice" and the only two brave options to further enhance Stradivarius's stallion potential are the 'Arc' or the Melbourne Cup. Both seem unlikely, but proper global domination must be an appealing prospect for connections.

While Dee Ex Bee is closest in the betting, and technically a pound well-in against Stradivarius, the Dermot Weld trained Falcon Eight has most scope for improvement. Falcon Eight could even be the one that heads to Flemington, the Master of Rosewell has some previous form there. Mr. Weld loves a stayer with speed.

Speed

The real speedsters line up in the Nunthorpe at 3.35. The enigmatic Battaash has been deposed at the top of the market but he has been beaten in the last two renewals of this race. Aidan O'Brien sends one of the fastest horses he has ever trained in the shape of July Cup winner Ten Sovereigns, who is now favourite. O'Brien has won the race twice in the past with Mozart and Stravinsky, like Ten Sovereigns, both were three-year-olds.

No three-year-old has won the race since Margot Did back in 2011. Its' been a race for the girls of late, with fillies winning seven of the last ten runnings. And only for ultra-high-definition, Mabs Cross would have been on that list last year too. She lost out by fractions of a pixel, a dead heat in any other era.

Youth

This evening at the Curragh as well as the Riptide Movement after racing, there will be plenty of clues about how the equine talent of the future is shaping up. At 6.40 the Debutante is the ideal prep race for the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes on Longines Irish Champions Weekend. There have been some brilliant winners of this race, including Magical, and tonight Love is favourite for Aidan O'Brien.

Ballydoyle have taken this race six times since 2009 but Alpine Star could defy them tonight. Jessica Harrington's half-sister to Alpha Centauri was impressive at Galway and pattern-class company was the next logical step. Even if Alpine Star is only half as good as her four-time Group One-winning sister, connections will be delighted.

The colts line up in the Futurity at 7.10 with Armory odds-on to land this for Aidan O'Brien. Gleneagles, Churchill and Anthony Van Dyck have all won this race en-route to Classic glory the following year. While O'Brien has three of the top four in the market the opposition looks stronger than in previous years. Ger Lyons sends the unbeaten Justifier, he was hopeful about the colt's progression in his blog today.

Michael Halford is renowned for his patience and his runners tend to progress from their opening outings. That was the case with Roman Turbo who won on debut then stepped successfully into Group company when winning the Anglesea on his second start.

It's a brilliant day's racing with something for everyone. As well as the top-class flat action at York and The Curragh Willie Mullins' mare Robin de Carlow will look to get here chasing career back on track at Killarenty at 6.55 this evening.

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Aidan O'brien Flat Racing Frankie Dettori Nunthorpe Stradivarius The Curragh York

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