Together Forever leads Ballydoyle raid on York
Aidan O'Brien will be hoping he can plunder another Classic trial when his Together Forever seeks to lay down her Epsom Oaks claims at York tomorrow when she takes on four rivals in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes.
The Ballydoyle supremo's Group One-winning filly - as low as 12/1 for the Oaks - beat the classy Agnes Stewart in the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket in October and has not been seen since.
Nick Littmoden's highly-tried maiden Amaze Me will be among the challengers, having run a promising race when third in the Pretty Polly at Newmarket earlier this month. John Gosden's Jazzi Top won that trial and he sends Star Of Seville north to contest another of the noted Classic trials.
Pandora was a very impressive winner of a maiden on her first outing at 25/1 in the colours of Robert Ogden for Charlie Hills, but this represents a significant step up in class. The field is completed by Richard Fahey's La Dorotea, which has made great strides on the all-weather in the winter.
On the same card, Eddie Lynam will be hoping Gathering Power can join the league of his other sprinter stars when she lines up in the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stake.
The five-year-old mare has shown gradual progress and fully deserves her chance, given she was only beaten three lengths by Gordon Lord Byron on Champions Day at Ascot.
Considering Lynam already has Sole Power, Anthem Alexander and new inmate Moviesta on his books, Gathering Power's entry in this Group Two carries considerable interest.
The highly-rated Muthmir makes his seasonal reappearance over a course and distance which he won on last July. William Haggas' promising sprinter was fifth in the Stewards' Cup before bolting up in the Portland at Doncaster, looking a Group-class sprinter in the making.
Kevin Ryan's Astaire has bounced back to his blistering two-year-old form this season, finishing second in the Cammidge Trophy and winning the Abernant Stakes, but his task is made tougher by a penalty.
Lightning Moon was unbeaten last season for Ed Walker and will be looking to maintain his record in the Godolphin silks, with Sheikh Mohammed buying the colt after his win at Ascot last season.
Mattmu is an interesting contender for Tim Easterby. Only three, he was second to Limato in Redcar's Two-Year-Old Trophy and signed off a good first season winning a Group Two in France.
Marco Botti's Naadirr looked a much-improved performer when winning the Cammidge on his reappearance and appears another major player. Mick Easterby's Aetna, the George Margarson-trained Lucky Kristale and French challenger Gammarth, trained by Henri-Alex Pantall, are also among the declarations.