Qahriman sneaks into Ebor after lame Harlestone pulled out

Qahriman, the first reserve for the Betfred Ebor, will run in the valuable handicap at York today after Harlestone Times was declared a non-runner.

The Luca Cumani-trained four-year-old was a two-length winner over course and distance in June and now sneaks into the 20-runner field.

Trainer John Dunlop has taken out Harlestone Times after he was found to be lame.

Jockey Kieren Fallon had been booked to ride the Richard Fahey-trained Area Fifty One, but he has switched allegiances to partner Qahriman, who will break from stall one.

Cumani has won the Ebor three times, most recently with Purple Moon in 2007.

It is 18 years since Sir Mark Prescott’s only other winner of the Ebor, but bookmakers remain as wary as ever of the Newmarket trainer as he prepares to saddle Motivado.

Motivado has a similar profile to Hasten To Add, who obliged as 13-2 market leader in 1994, having been raised through the staying division and having competed in the Northumberland Plate.

The four-year-old gelding could not run as well in the valuable Newcastle event as the former member of Heath House, getting bogged down in the desperate conditions, but bolted up at Goodwood to gain a 4lb penalty which sees him scrape through near the bottom of the weights.

“He ran very well the other day,” said Prescott.

“His last run was impressive but, as all the papers say, there’s lots of reasons why you might think he’s a bit short but his last run was a very good run.

“I think he’ll stay the trip and it’s whether he’s good enough – that last run gives you a bit of hope.”

The ride provides Luke Morris with another opportunity to cement his position as Prescott’s stable jockey, having impressed with assured rides all season.

“He won very well that day at Goodwood. I sat on him earlier in the week and he seems in great order,” he said.

“We had our fingers crossed whether he would get in, but he must have a massive chance.

“The handicapper has got him well in so hopefully he will run a big race.

“He is still lightly raced and I think there is still a bit of improvement in him.

“He’s got to be the one they all have to beat.”

John Gosden has endured a trying Ebor week with leading juvenile Newfangled sustaining a serious injury and The Fugue being touched off in the Yorkshire Oaks.

However, he could finish off on a happier note with Camborne, who notched the most recent victory of a productive season in the Duke Of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot.

Jockey William Buick said: “He won very well at Ascot when he came from a long way back.

“He wouldn’t mind a bit of rain but I think there is a bit forecast for Saturday. The trip will suit, the track will suit, so hopefully the ground will suit too.”

Dermot Weld has been in excellent form on the Knavesmire in the last few days and fields Sense Of Purpose, a Group Two winner last term but less effective this season and must defy the outside draw.

“We’re hopeful,” Weld said. “The draw in 22 is not encouraging but she’s a filly who is very very well.

“My apprentice Leigh Roche is very good, he has one 5lb claim left and hopefully he will lose it in the Ebor.

“She’s a Group winner and we wanted to win another, but we’ve had soft ground in Ireland and she’s a top of the ground filly.

“I’m more worried about getting too much rain than the draw, but the trip will suit her and she will be ridden with confidence.”

Fortune favoured another of this country’s handicap kings, Luca Cumani, who has won the Ebor three times before.

His Qahriman, a course and distance winner in June, sneaks into the number one draw as a reserve after John Dunlop’s Harlestone Times was withdrawn.

“We’re lucky to have got in, I didn’t expect to, and we’re grateful that Mr Dunlop has taken his horse out,” said Cumani.

“It was always the plan to go for the Ebor after his last win at York and the draw is fine, I just wouldn’t want the ground to get too soft.”

Area Fifty One was fifth in the John Smith's Cup at the track last time and Fahey would like to see the rain stay away from the Knavesmire.

“It’s a race we’d obviously love to win, but it’s a very tough race,” said Fahey.

“He’s run well in soft ground before, but his best form is on very quick ground, so we’ll have to see which way it goes.

“Ideally you’d want better ground for him, especially running over this trip for the first time.”

Andrew Balding appears quietly confident about the prospects of Dreamspeed, who was fourth in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock.

The Kingsclere trainer said: “It was a good run at Haydock and it was only his second start after a long break.

“I’ve been very happy with him, I think the track should suit, one of his brothers stayed two miles so hopefully he should get the extra couple of furlongs and I think he’s a lively outsider.

“He was good enough to win a Derby trial at three so we’re hoping for the best.”

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