War Artist ready for York test

James Eustace is hoping War Artist can overcome a “horrible” draw in the Duke of York Hearthstead Homes Stakes on the Knavesmire tomorrow.

The former South African speedster has been saddled with stall one as he bids to land his first race in the northern hemisphere in the Group Two contest over six furlongs.

“We’ve got a horrible draw. The only draw I didn’t want was one and that’s what we’ve got, but if there’s speed on our side then it’s not so bad,” said Eustace.

“Anyway, we are stuck there and we’ll have to make the best of it.

“I think he’s a hold-up horse looking at his South African races. When he won his Grade One he came from way back and just got up on the line over six. It’s a sharp six, so he won’t be leading.

“Whatever happens I just hope Kerrin (McEvoy) can drop him in and get the rub of the green.”

The five-year-old has shown plenty of ability in two races in this country.

After finishing second over seven furlongs at Wolverhampton in March, he was a fast-finishing sixth in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket despite suffering bad luck in running and being burdened with a 10lb penalty.

“He’s done very well since the Abernant and I thought he ran a very solid race with the penalty and he didn’t really get a run until the furlong pole and he finished to good effect. I was delighted with him,” Eustace went on.

“And the ground should be fine. His best form in South Africa was on fast ground. In a way, the quicker the better.”

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