Pavlosk to return to winning ways
Simon Holt previews day three of York's Ebor meeting and fancies Pavlosk to win the Sky Bet Strensall Stakes.
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Highlight of day three of York's Ebor Festival is the Group One Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes which sees another meeting between Sole Power and SHEA SHEA who finished first and second in the Kings Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The pair have now met several times; Shea Shea proved quicker at Meydan earlier in the year when taking the prestigious Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night but there was little between them behind Lethal Force (Slade Power third) in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket last time when both were ridden from the back to stay the six furlong trip.
Sole Power has long proved that his big-priced win in this race three years ago was no fluke and, with his push-button turn of foot, he must be deeply respected but I felt Shea Shea was unfortunate at Ascot, clearly beating his group on the far side but being nailed overall by his old rival who charged down the stands side.
Observing the make and shape of Mike De Kock's charge at Newmarket, I was hugely impressed with his physique and he could well give Frankie Dettori a long overdue top-flight success.
Sole Power's stable companion Slade Power can hardly be ignored after his improved effort at Newmarket and subsequent defeat of Hamza at The Curragh over six furlongs but it remains to be seen if he's quite good enough against the two aforementioned sprinters who appear to be more obvious five-furlong specialists sure to be suited by this flat track.
The progressive three-year-old Moviesta is also a fascinating runner after his fluent defeat of the reopposing Swiss Spirit in the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood though this does represent another step up in class.
Earlier, the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup is a virtual re-run of the Goodwood Cup in which Ahzeemah chased home Brown Panther with No Heretic fifth, Colour Vision seventh, Caucus ninth and both Askar Tau and Glen's Diamond well beaten.
One would have to expect the Godolphin-owned runner-up, who could be bound for the Melbourne Cup, to confirm those placings but Simenon could be hard to handle if reproducing the form which saw him chase home Estimate (Colour Vision fourth) in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.
My only fear with Willie Mullins' stayer is that he thrives at Ascot but hasn't performed so well at York including when behind Time's Up in this race last year. Meanwhile, the last-named seems to be struggling to find that form at present cutting little ice in the Gold Cup. The race looks tricky.
Later on, I would be far more confident of PAVLOSK in the Sky Bet Strensall Stakes.
Sir Michael Stoute's filly hacked up here at the Dante meeting but probably found the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot next time too much too soon finishing ninth behind Sky Lantern.
Last time, Pavlosk was going on strongly at the finish over seven furlongs in the Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood and this nine-furlong trip could prove ideal returning to the Knavesmire. She could be hard to beat receiving all the allowances and any rain would also fall in her favour.
Archbishop developed into a smart performer last season and could be a danger despite making a belated seasonal debut while Robin Hoods Bay continues to progress and saw it out well at Haydock just under a fortnight ago.