Tuesday 28 February 2017

Bunting faces Irish challenge at York

Godolphin's dual Classic winner Blue Bunting is set to be the headline act in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York on Thursday.

The English 1,000 Guineas and Irish Oaks heroine, trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni, is one of two representatives for Sheikh Mohammed's operation along with Rumh from Saeed bin Suroor's stable.

Champion Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien has three interesting contenders among the 15 left in the Group One race -- Misty For Me, Spin and Wonder Of Wonders.

The latter was third behind Blue Bunting in the Irish Oaks, and the second and fourth that day, Jim Bolger's Banimpire and Jessica Harrington's Laughing Lashes, could also be York-bound.

Last year's winner Midday stands her ground, but is instead expected to run in the Juddmonte International on the opening afternoon of the big meeting.

Her trainer Henry Cecil is set to call on Vita Nova, an incredibly unlucky loser in the Lancashire Oaks when her saddle slipped.

Michael Stoute has won this race eight times and he relies on the six-year-old Crystal Capella.

Snow Fairy, runner-up 12 months ago, and also second to Midday in the Nassau Stakes last time, could try again for Ed Dunlop, although she too holds a Juddmonte International engagement.

David Lanigan has left in Meeznah, but she has been declared to run in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

Brushing, Polly's Mark and Vivacious Vivienne are the older fillies and mares remaining at the confirmation stage.

Godolphin have also supplemented the Cherry Hinton Stakes winner Gamilati for the Jaguar Cars Lowther Stakes at York on Thursday.

Others among the six-day entries are Aidan O'Brien's After and David Wachman's Fire Lily.

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