Ante-post favourite Ivan Grozny features in a maximum field of 20 runners in the Betfred Ebor at York tomorrow.
The talented dual-purpose performer bolted up over hurdles at Aintree in the spring and while he was subsequently disappointing in the Scottish Champion Hurdle, he was not disgraced at Royal Ascot and has since won emphatically over obstacles at Tipperary and on the level at Galway.
A formidable Irish contingent also includes the Tony Martin-trained pair of Heartbreak City and Quick Jack.
Heartbreak City has won his last two starts over hurdles at Tipperary and Galway, while Quick Jack, who disappointed when joint-favourite for last year’s Ebor, was eighth when defending his crown in last month’s Galway Hurdle. The weights are headed by the Mick Channon-trained Elidor, who incurred a 4lb penalty for winning at Glorious Goodwood.
Other contenders include Northumberland Plate one-two Antiquarium and Seamour, Ralph Beckett’s pair of Kinema and She Is No Lady and recent Doncaster scorer Oceanographer.
Havana Beat and First Mohican are the two reserves.
Meanwhile Blue Point will attempt to return to winning ways in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes at York, also tomorrow.
An easy winner of his first two starts, the Charlie Appleby-trained colt found only the top-class Mehmas narrowly too good at Goodwood. Simon Crisford’s Mokarris went to Royal Ascot with a tall reputation and while he found the ground too soft there, he looked impressive at Newbury last time out. One who won at Royal Ascot was John Gosden’s Ardad, but he bombed out next time in the July Stakes.
The William Haggas-trained Mubtasim is well regarded and has had no trouble winning his two races to date, but this represents a step up in class.
Ed Dunlop’s Global Applause has a victory over Mehmas to his name and has been running consistently well all season.
Mark Johnston had The Last Lion in the Nunthorpe but opted for this instead. The Brocklesby winner chased home stablemate Yalta in the Molecomb at Goodwood.
Aidan O’Brien runs Intelligence Cross, with Kevin Ryan represented by Dream Of Dreams and Marco Botti set to saddle Unabated.
John Ryan’s Grey Britain and the Karl Burke-trained Medici Banchiere complete the field.
The filly has had a busy season but is showing no signs of it, turned out just six days after finishing third behind Mrs Danvers at Newbury.
Breaking from a seemingly favoured low draw in stall four, she had all her rivals in trouble with fully two furlongs to run. Sean Levey just had to keep her up to her work to hold favourite Rusumaat at bay, which the 13-2 winner did comfortably.
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