Star speedsters take Duke plunge

Soldier’s Tale and War Artist will shoulder 9st 12lb as they take on 16 rivals in the Duke Of York Hearthstead Homes Stakes on Wednesday.

The pair must give weight away having been handed 5lb penalties for winning at the highest level last term.

Kevin Prendergast’s Haatef progressed well in 2007 and will travel across from Ireland to take his chance on the Knavesmire, while compatriots Honoured Guest and US Ranger will run for Aidan O’Brien.

Kevin Ryan saddled Amadeus Wolf to win the Group Two prize 12 months ago and this time relies on Wi Dud.

Richard Fahey’s Utmost Respect, impressive winner of the Ayr Silver Cup last year, finished in front of Big Timer and Ryan’s ace at Thirsk in April and will again take on that pair.

Balthazaar’s Gift and Hoh Mike, who will be making his first appearance as a four-year-old, are notable entries for Luca Cumani and Michael Bell respectively.

Assertive, Beaver Patrol, Beckermet, Galeota, Garnica, Prime Defender, Rising Shadow and Sonny Red, who will only run if the ground is suitable, complete the field.

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