Hitchens set for Garrowby glory
Nick Grant believes Hitchens can defy a penalty and his advancing years at York - he previews all Sunday's action.
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FONTWELL: 2.10 Wooly Bully, 2.40 Experimentalist, 3.10 Baizically, 3.45 Della Sun, 4.15 Princely Hero, 4.50 Lucys Girl, 5.20 Novikov, 5.50 Ovilia.
DUNDALK: 2.20 Lily's Star, 2.50 Summer Isles, 3.25 Treadstone, 3.55 Diyala, 4.30 Valley Queen, 5.00 Toufan Express, 5.30 Giovanni Boldini, 6.00 Excelli.
YORK: 2.00 Zeshov, 2.30 Oak Bluffs, 3.00 HITCHENS (NAP), 3.35 Fragonard, 4.05 Pearl Spice, 4.40 Hoofalong, 5.10 Cosmic Sun.
DOUBLE: Hitchens and Pearl Spice.
It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Hitchens can defy a penalty and his advancing years to land the Betfred Garrowby Stakes at York.
The evergreen eight-year-old showed he was no back-number when swooping to land a similar prize at Chester last month, being ridden to perfection by Graham Gibbons and quickening well when switched to challenge.
He had a 7lb penalty on the Roodee and it was no mean effort by the David Barron-trained gelding, who has generally been in great heart this year, having been on the go since Meydan in January.
Barron has given him a relatively easy time of it through the summer, as he did last year, and it was only a couple of runs ago he was beating Reply to claim a Group Three in Ireland.
There are question marks about one or two of his rivals in terms of ground and while Hitchens is best on a sound surface, he does handle some cut.
Crucially he has a liking for York, rarely running a bad race on the Knavesmire.
Fragonard is a slightly speculative pick in the Coopers Marquees Stakes.
The Sir Robert Ogden-owned, Lady Cecil-trained filly made a promising two-year-old debut but missed the whole of last year through injury.
Her return at Kempton in June was quite promising but she was disappointing the following month at Lingfield.
If you are prepared to forgive that, she remains a lightly-raced sort and is probably capable of quite a bit better on her handicap bow off a mark of 75, with the yard going well and this being a favourite track of the owner.
Pearl Spice makes some appeal in the Castles UK Educational And Residential Furniture Stakes stepping back up to two miles.
Tim Pitt's gelding has found this trip to his liking with wins at Nottingham and Kempton but was foiled in a hat-trick bid under a double penalty at Musselburgh, although he was beaten less than two lengths and looked like the mile-and-a-half trip was on the sharp side.
He is bred to stay all day and shapes as though he would not mind should the ground turn it into a real stamina test.
Lucys Girl shed her maiden tag when winning a moderate affair at Fontwell last month and she can complete a course double in the Liberty Leasing Mares' Handicap Hurdle.
She failed to complete on her first couple of starts but defied her status as the outsider of four runners when claiming a near two-length verdict for trainer Jamie Snowden 10 days ago.
Awarded an opening mark of 94, the six-year-old is an interesting contender on her first start in this sphere.