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Sky is the limit for Stoute stayer

PROGRESSIVE stayer SNOW SKY can cut loose in the Betway Yorkshire Cup on the final day of the Dante Festival at York.

Michael Stoute's colt made boundless improvement during 2014, but this could be the year he really hits full throttle.

The son of Nayef was well tried as a three-year-old, with victories in the Derby Trial at Lingfield and in the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood a yardstick with which to measure his talents.

He also neatly illustrated his aptitude for a mile and three-quarters when third in the St Leger at Doncaster, when he may have got a little closer to Kingston Hill had he not suffered late interference.

Snow Sky was then sent to the Far East for the mile-and-a-half Hong Kong Vase, in which he was admittedly a shade underwhelming.

The Khalid Abdullah-owned four-year-old finished seventh, beaten under five lengths, but he did not accelerate with as much purpose as connections had hoped.

This might explain why Stoute has immediately turned to a more exacting stamina test on the Knavesmire, where he proved is liking for the North Yorkshire turf when a staying-on second in last season's Great Voltigeur.

Versatile in terms of whatever the weather brings, Stoute, who won the Yorkshire Cup last season with Gospel Choir, can be trusted to have Snow Sky somewhere near on the top of his form.

If that is the case, he could be too smart for the utterly likeable Brown Panther, who will not have it all of his way under a 4lb penalty.

The Langleys Solicitors EBF Marygate Fillies' Stakes often produces a filly to follow, with NEW ROAD SIDE eminently capable of picking up the baton.