Sergeant to take chargein Cup

HORSE of the Year Sergeant Cecil can land the first Group prize of his career in the Emirates Airline Yorkshire Cup at York today.

After becoming the first horse in history to win the Northumberland Plate, Ebor and Cesarewitch in the same season his days in handicap company are over.

But a fine reappearance when fourth in the John Porter Stakes at Newbury behind classy sorts such as Mubtaker, Munsef and Maraahel shows he has lost none of his dash.

His Ebor victory came over the course and distance and with many of this field having stamina doubts, Alan Munro should be able to stalk the field before producing the admirable seven-year-old with his customary late run to claim victory.

Apart from when failing by a short head at Newmarket last year, Short Dance has never finished out of the first three, so her chance of gaining a third career success in the Michael Seely Memorial Fillies’ Stakes is pretty obvious.

Having already won a six-furlong Newmarket maiden, Barry Hills’ charge ended last season by adding a hard-fought Listed success over seven furlongs at Newbury.

That promise was almost fulfilled on her seasonal reappearance in last month’s Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury, a race in which she finished third, under two lengths behind Nasheej with useful Cantabria in between.

As the winner subsequently finished third in the 1000 Guineas, the form is solid and there must be a very good chance that Short Dance will relish this step up to a mile.

In the Listed Swettenham Stud Fillies’ Trial Stakes at Newbury, Makderah can continue to build on her burgeoning reputation.

One of the best-bred fillies in training, being related to Unfuwain, Nashwan and Nayef, she was third behind Sindirana on her racecourse bow and with that filly now well fancied for the Oaks the form looks very respectable.

She then won at Newbury in the style of one who will need every inch of this 10-furlong trip and she should be there at the death.

At Hamilton Ouninpohja is taken to win the Listed Braveheart Stakes while Accordello can land the second division of the John Smiths Extra Smooth Maiden Stakes at Nottingham.

And Jack The Giant should find the Intersky Bloodstock Handicap Hurdle at Aintree a fair bit easier than his target at the Punchestown Festival.

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