Nun better than Shea Shea
Man On The Spot previews every race on day three of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York.
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Chancery won this a year ago and, though his form figures don't look particularly inspiring, he's been running well enough to consider. Wigmore Hall, a dual Group 1 winner in his prime, returned to something like form at Newmarket last time and is extremely well handicapped, especially with his rider's claim taken into account. Communicator is very consistent at this sort of level and likely to get involved again though he was behindSEMEEN and Proud Chieftain in a Shergar Cup race at Ascot and the winner, a progressive and lightly-raced type, had enough in hand to believe he can go in again. Gabrial The Hero has much more to do to complete his hat-trick but Pearl Castle has to be a threat on his form over timber and on the Flat as he ran a fine race in the Galway Hurdle last month.
Certerach produced a shock when beating CAVALRYMAN at Meydan but the latter has been in much the better form subsequently. He had Angel Gabrial, Forgotten Voice and an out-of-sorts Estimate behind in the Goodwood Cup and there doesn't appear any apparent reason for a form reversal. High Jinks is a very useful stayer, as he showed in France last time, though he prefers some cut in the ground and that appears unlikely here. Dermot Weld doesn't send horses to the UK unless they are fancied and Pale Mimosa looks a smart prospect after her excellent Listed victory at Leopardstown, though she could also do with some rain. Times Up doesn't look the force of old.
Top Notch Tonto, who was engaged in a handicap here yesterday, would be a certainty on his form at the back-end of last year though he needs some give to show his best. Cable Bay hasn't run since runner-up to War Command in last season's Dewhurst which is an obvious cause for concern. But Heaven's Guest has been in fine form in tough handicaps and deserves another crack at this level while Glory Awaits had Mushirand Penitent close behind in a Listed contest at Chester and there's little between the trio again. THAT IS THE SPIRIT completed a hat-trick on his first three starts and has run very well at Group 3 level in his last two so he can take this for David O'Meara and Richard Hughes. Rerouted returned from a successful spell at Meydan with a couple of fair efforts and should be ready for this.
Three of the last four winners have started at 100/1, 20/1 and 40/1. Sole Power landed this race in 2010 and Eddie Lynam's seven-year-old showed himself as good as ever in the King's Stand Stakes at Ascot when beating Stepper Point with Hot Streak, who started favourite, not quite getting there despite having every chance. Take Cover, who finished eighth on his first start of the season, has since completed a double including at Group 2 level so should get much closer. Stepper Point and Extortionist are very closely matched though look held by Sole Power but SHEA SHEA, who finished seventh at Ascot, was having his first start since Meydan in March and last year's runner-up could be the one to take from that event so is handed the vote. The progressive French-trained Rangali may find the ground a bit lively but Cougar Mountain ran an astonishing race in the July Cup on just his second ever start and he must rate a big threat.
The Hannon yard have won two of the last four and ACASTER MALBIS (NAP) can keep up the run in a very tricky race. He was only headed in the dying strides by Gibeon on soft going at Newmarket and today's quicker ground can enable him to hang on. Swot made a bright start behind Sawaahel over 6f at Headquarters and that will have brought him to concert pitch for this while Dissolution caught the eye at Newbury and will improve plenty for the experience. Able Sprit, Beach Samba, Brando, Golden Spun and Bright Flash all made fair debuts and any one of them could improve enough to take this while, of the newcomers, the superbly-bred Muffarreh catches the eye as he's related to numerous classy performers.
Hugo Palmer won this last year so the progressive Goodwood winner Extremity has to be respected despite a 7lb rise. Moohaarib failed in his hat-trick bid at Ascot but wasn't beaten far and the fact that he's been left on the same mark is a bonus. Maverick Wave wasn't disgraced on his bid to remain unbeaten at Newmarket and is still progressing so he's on the short-list while Almuheet can run well at a big price for Brian Ellison and Joe Doyle as he's looking nicely weighted. HALATION was purchased for 120,000gns by Qatar Racing after scoring at Newcastle and justified the outlay by landing a stronger race at Sandown. That was his first start for Dave Simcock and a hat-trick beckons.