Battaash and Crowley can collar 'Lady' in Nunthorpe
With no Sole Power on the go, Irish hopes are slim in what is a pretty vintage renewal of the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York this afternoon.
Perhaps one could make the argument that today's Group One is bereft of stars of the elder brigade but, such is the class of Lady Aurelia and Battaash, few would care. These three-year-old rockets dominate the market and quite feasibly will dominate the race too.
And it may be that Lady Aurelia will set the race up for the mount of Jim Crowley, which has been quite sensationally progressive and is doing no harm to the reputation of his excellent sire Dark Angel. Battaash has won three on the bounce this year, a different horse from what he was at two, and his superb win in the King George Stakes at Goodwood, when trouncing Profitable, Marsha, Take Cover and Washington DC, was awesome visually.
Wesley Ward's mare will make it tough, but the suspicion is that punters will come for Charlie Hills' horse.
In the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes, a Group Three, Gordon Lord Byron attempts to roll back the years at nine. Progressive filly Daban could be one to follow here for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori, though a saver on Jallota seems prudent too.
Crowley teams up with Willie Mullins' Thomas Hobson in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup. However, slight preference here is for Dartmouth, which has not tried this distance before but note that his record over trips beyond one mile and five furlongs is three from three, all at Group level.
Ryan Moore will likely ride a similar race to Crowley - both expected to hold up their mounts - and it could be a fascinating tactical battle. Place bettors should look to the hardy St Michel, rarely out of the frame and freshened up since a narrow reverse at Belmont.
Tony Martin is double-handed in the opening handicap but both seem up against it and preference is for Red Galileo. Saeed Bin Suroor's gelding - like Dartmouth by Dubawi out of a Galileo mare - has been competitive in better races than this.
A maiden race seems somewhat incongruous on this card but it is a strong one. Doswell was an eye-catcher at Newmarket and Dettori takes over now for Gosden, while Medahim - trained by Richard Hannon - could be another for the Italian in the finale.