Boys in blue for good Friday
Simon Holt previews the final day of York's Dante meeting and fancies Ahzeemah in the Sky Bet Yorkshire Cup.
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Simon Holt previews the final day of York's Dante meeting and fancies Ahzeemah in the Sky Bet Yorkshire Cup. Friday could be a good day for Godolphin at York where AHZEEMAH and FOLK MELODY are both fancied to win for the 'boys in blue'. Ahzeemah put up probably the best performance of his career when beating Simenon in the Lonsdale Cup on the Knavesmire last August and could well add to that success in the Sky Bet Yorkshire Cup. The Saeed bin Suroor-trained gelding was both progressive and consistent during 2013, also finishing second in both the Goodwood Cup and the Irish St Leger having won a Group 3 at Meydan in the spring. There could well be more to come from Ahzeemah who seems effective at a range of distances and is ground versatile. The likely favourite is recent Sagaro Stakes winner Tac de Boistron who is undoubtedly a top-class stayer. However, all his best form has been on deep ground and, although the York three-day meeting began on softish going, the forecast warm weather looks set to dry things out. If that is the case, don't be surprised if trainer Marco Botti pulls out the seven-year-old who has the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot as a major target. The giant grey is also saddled with a penalty here. Gospel Choir looks the other leading contender after beating a decent field over a mile and a half at the Newmarket Guineas meeting. He ought to handle another two furlongs without too much bother and, a particularly scopey sort, is expected to progress further. Later on, Folk Melody could well prove the one to beat in the Irish Champions Weekend Fillies Stakes after an encouraging, keeping-on eighth behind Sandiva in the Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket on only her second start. The seven furlongs that day looked a bit sharp for this good-looking daughter of Street Cry who won nicely on Newmarket's July course on her sole start last season. Trainer Charlie Appleby has decided to fit the filly with a hood here over an additional furlong. Radiator, the winner of a Lingfield maiden by no less than 15 lengths last September, is an interesting rival. Sir Michael Stoute's charge appeared disappointing subsequently when beaten over 10 lengths into fourth in the Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket but that has turned out to be a hot race with the first two, Miss France and Lightning Thunder, finishing in the same positions in the 1000 Guineas.