Friday 22/08/2014

York
R2 Lonsdale Cup (BRITISH CHAMPIONS SERIES) G2
R3 Sky Bet City Of York Stakes Listed
R4 Nunthorpe Stakes (BRITISH CHAMPIONS SERIES) G1

Cut Off Time 11:00pm

Those interested in what International horses are heading towards the Mel Cup should read article 2 about the Lonsdale Cup.

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"Eddie Lynam has warned Sole Power was in better form earlier in the season ahead of his run in Friday's Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York.

The seven-year-old caused a 100-1 surprise in the Group One four years ago but has since gone on to prove himself as one of the best sprinters on the planet.

He won the King's Stand at Royal Ascot in June but was a late withdrawal from the July Cup, won by stablemate Slade Power, on account of soft ground.

However, he has since suffered a skin infection and missed some training.

Aidan O'Brien's Cougar Mountain was a five-length winner on his debut in June before being pitched into the July Cup, where he finished a perfectly respectable fifth.

Take Cover was three lengths behind Sole Power at Royal Ascot but has won a Listed race at York and the King George at Glorious Goodwood since, propelling his trainer David Griffiths into the limelight.

Griffiths, who trains a string of 20, said: "We've got to take on Sole Power, Hot Streak, Pearl Secret and those guys are obviously very good. I think Sole Power is the one seriously, seriously good horse that you would be scared of, but I think we are entitled to take our chance, aren't we?

Just behind Take Cover at Goodwood was Moviesta who is returning to his best for Bryan Smart having won the corresponding race 12 months ago.

G Force is another who ran in the Goodwood race and also behind Take Cover at York. He had a valid excuse for not finishing closer, according to trainer David O'Meara.

"We felt G Force was unlucky behind Take Cover in the City Walls Stakes. He was struck over the head by a whip and it probably cost him," said O'Meara.

Kevin Ryan's Astaire ran well in the Duke of York in May but has been found wanting behind Slade Power the last twice. Ryan also runs Hot Streak, winner of the Temple Stakes.

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"The Lonsdale Cup at York tonight could prove a key form race for the 2014 Melbourne Cup, with several runners in the Group 2 event a chance of making the trip to Australia for the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Jamie Spencer has been booked to ride Certerach in the 2014 Lonsdale Cup at York.
Jamie Spencer has been booked to ride Certerach in the 2014 Lonsdale Cup at York.

Godolphin have confirmed that Cavalryman is all but certain to contest the Melbourne Cup for the second time in November and he will be chasing his third straight victory after taking out the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m) and Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3218m) in impressive fashion.

The Halling gelding was included in the nominations for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) that were released earlier this month, but Godolphin are yet to decide whether he will contest the $3.5 million event on October 18.

Mick Halford-trained Certerach has also been included in the nominations for the Caulfield Cup and he defeated Cavalryman to win the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) at Meydan earlier this year.

The six-year-old was slightly disappointing in both the Group 3 Curragh Cup (2816m) and Listed Challenge Stakes (2816m), but remains an outside chance of making the trip to Australia if he performs well in the Lonsdale Cup.

Richard Fahey-trained Angel Gabrial has also been included in the Lonsdale Cup field and was among the Caulfield Cup nominations, but at this stage is considered unlikely to make the trip to Australia.

Pale Mimosa was not included in the Caulfield Cup nominations, but trainer Dermot Weld has revealed that she is a chance of running in the Melbourne Cup after she recorded a comfortable win in the Listed Challenge Stakes (2816m) at Leopardstown in July 17.

Racing Victoria International Recruitment Officer Leigh Jordon said that Pale Mimosa would likely need to win another race to get her rating high enough to quality for the 2014 Melbourne Cup field and is hoping that she will perform well in the Lonsdale Cup tomorrow.

“In two starts this season, Pale Mimosa has been quite impressive, winning the Listed Challenge Stakes at Leopardstown and running third to Gold Cup winner Leading Light in the Vintage Crop Stakes,” Jordon told Racing Victoria.

“I met with Dermot when I was in Ireland and he expressed an interest in bringing the mare to Melbourne for the Melbourne Cup, so I think a win tomorrow would definitely boost her chances of making the trip.”

The 2014 Lonsdale Cup field is rounded out by Forgotten Voice, High Jinx, Times Up and Estimate.

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"om Hogan is looking forward to stable star Gordon Lord Byron returning to action in Friday's Sky Bet City Of York Stakes.

The six-year-old won the race in 2012 and has since added the Prix de la Foret and Betfred Sprint Cup to his impressive list of victories.

He has been sidelined since suffering an injury during the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot but is ready to go now, the trainer telling sportinglife.com: "He's been coming along grand and is in great fettle. I'm really plesaed with his physical condition and he's ready for a race."