Be Indignant at York
Man On The Spot previews all of the action on the Knavesmire from the second day of York's Ebor meeting.
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Both Hototo and Bogart were beaten at Goodwood before landing this prize for Kevin Ryan so a big run from Molecomb Stakes fourth Sleeper King is expected. He makes most appeal of his yard's five runners while Thunder Strike finished ahead of Miracle Of Medinah when third at Goodwood and is preferred to stable companion Fair Ranger. The former found the William Haggas-trained Saayerr too good in the Richmond Stakes which should give the Newmarket handler a good line on the chances of NEZAR, caught on the line over 7f at Newbury but expected to hold his own in this better company. Of the remainder, Viva Verglas improves with every start while Rufford and Xanthos have more scope than the likes of Green Door and Ventura Mist.
LUCKY KRISTALE boasts the highest official rating having won a Group 2 at Newmarket last month beating previous Royal Ascot winner Rizeena and today's rival Queen Catrine in the process. That form looks rock-solid and George Margarson's filly can defy a penalty and follow-up. J Wonder is unbeaten and wasn't unduly troubled to land a Newmarket nursery in good style earlier this month. She looks a genuine threat as she's yet to be tested. Merletta must be thought capable of better than she's shown so far taking on much better opposition here while collateral form leaves the likes of Reroute, Wind Fire, Alutiq and Kaiulani all needing to improve to match the selection.
Having returned a losing favourite on a couple of outings earlier, Wentworth finally came good in a hot handicap at Goodwood last time. He had the re-opposing Mark Johnston-trained duo Es Que Love and Windhoek back in the field and should go close again. However, SANDAGIYR was beaten only a length in third on that occasion despite not getting the clearest of runs. He'll need some luck in-running from a high draw in this too, but the Godolphin charge gets a tentative vote to turn the tables nonetheless. There's a suspicion that Pintura is best over 7f nowadays while Queensberry Rules, Validus and Able Master are all looking to put recent poor efforts behind them but capable of getting involved if doing so. Prince Of Johanne and Norse Blues have a bit more to find off their current marks as does the Irish raider Hot Bed.
Venus De Milo didn't need to be at her best to pick up a Group 3 last time. The Ballydoyle filly was more impressive when runner-up in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh before that with Scintillula and Riposte not far behind. However, that form has already taken a knock and the English version isn't working out any better as Secret Gesture, runner-up in the Oaks at Epsom, has since been beaten in what looked a modest Group 1 event in Germany. Tom Queally prefers Wild Coco to Riposte though the former is unproven at this level and Lancashire Oaks winner Emirates Queen also steps up in class. The latter just got the better of Moment In Time at Haydock but both have been beaten since and Group 1 winner THE FUGUE looks the safest bet. Narrowly beaten in last year's renewal, she's been unfortunate to come up against Al Kazeem in both outings so far this season but is fancied to bounce back and land the spoils today.
Say has leading claims on her earlier second to subsequent Group 1 winner Dank but has since found the older Along Came Casey too good in a Listed contest at Gowran. Songbird was expected to remain unbeaten when sent off favourite at Newbury but came up just short and is closely matched with Cushion on that form. Coquet has been nowhere near her best so far this year while Star Lahib is progressive but facing much tougher opposition having won three times in handicaps this season. Lady Nouf was beaten a length in similar company here last month while stablemate OUR OBSESSION won over 1m2f at this track a day later. With today's longer trip likely to suit, the latter gets a speculative vote to find the necessary improvement in a tricky renewal.
Shesastar beat last year's winner Dutch Rose at Doncaster last time with Elle Woods further back in third and should go well again. Dutch Rose is joined by stablemates Patrona Ciana and Nurpur this time round with the latter looking to have strong claims on the back of a win over a mile here last month. Malekat Jamal beat Ghasabah at Newmarket before failing to follow-up at the same track last week and the latter is weighted to reverse running while Desert Image is not easily dismissed on the strength of last season's best form. But in an open contest the vote goes to the Hannon filly INDIGNANT, well beaten in a Group 3 contest at Goodwood on her latest start but a cosy winner in this grade at Newmarket before that.