Command in hat for York Stakes

Ed Dunlop’s new recruit Unbridled Command is among 16 entries for Saturday’s Sky Bet York Stakes on the Knavesmire.

Command in hat for York Stakes

Ed Dunlop’s new recruit Unbridled Command is among 16 entries for Saturday’s Sky Bet York Stakes on the Knavesmire.

Last year’s Hollywood Derby winner is ultimately being geared towards the Cox Plate in Australia and was last seen finishing third in February’s Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.

Among his possible rivals is the John Gosden-trained Ashdan, who is likely to require William Buick’s assistance, meaning the jockey would not be able to partner Novellist in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on the same afternoon.

Ashdan, who was fourth in last year’s Dewhurst to Dawn Approach, made a pleasing comeback behind Montiridge at Newmarket this month.

Last year’s winner of the 10-furlong Group Two, Sri Putra, is in the field again along with other experienced types like Wigmore Hall, Hunter’s Light, Chancery and Grandeur.

William Haggas’ consistent and high-class front-runner Mukhadram has this as an option after he was taken out of the King George.

The Apache, second in the Dubai Duty Free, could make his British debut for Mike de Kock.

Neatico, seemingly better than ever at the age of six, could represent Germany’s Peter Schiergen.

Roger Varian has confirmed Sri Putra in contention, and hopes a return to York will help the seven-year-old entire leave behind his moderate form of 2013.

“Sri Putra looks and seems in great form,” he said.

“He hasn’t really performed in his two starts this season but things haven’t really gone his way and, on home-work, he is no lesser horse than when he won the race last year.

“Obviously he is not getting any younger but I am very happy with him and hope he can run well on Saturday.”

Varian has also entered Dancewiththedevil, a multiple Group One winner in South Africa who was eighth on her British debut in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Varian said: “Dancewiththedevil has come on plenty for her first run.

“She seems very well but will only run if the forecast showers arrive and there is some give in the ground.”

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