York: All Eyes On Gold Cup-Bound Eldar Eldarov In The Yorkshire Cup

Quickthorn | Scoop Dyga


Friday's G2 Boodles Yorkshire Cup features two high-class veterans in the G2 Lonsdale Cup winner Quickthorn (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) and Broome (Ire) (Australia {GB}) whose reinvention as a stayer was confirmed with a G2 Dubai Gold Cup success, but it could be that youth counts as Eldar Eldarov (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) makes his seasonal return in the 14-furlong feature. Primed for two major efforts at three when successful in Royal Ascot's G2 Queen's Vase and the G1 St Leger at Doncaster, KHK Racing's flagbearer was only seventh stretching out to two miles in the G2 British Champions Long Distance Cup but is back in his sphere of comfort here. “He's really doing well of late and has obviously been very good at both tries over this distance,” trainer Roger Varian said. “We do see him being very effective when he races over Cup distances, but I think a mile and six furlongs is a good distance to start his season off at, and we hope he runs a good, solid race on Friday that means we can then take aim at the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.”

The Quick And The Dead

In a strong year for the stayers, the incredible 14-length success of Quickthorn in the two-mile Lonsdale Cup was one of the peak performances of 2022. Trainer Hughie Morrison believes that the impact of that wide-margin win from Coltrane (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) was lost after his subsequent heavy defeats in the G1 Prix du Cadran and British Champions Long Distance Cup. Lady Blyth's homebred was also sixth behind Broome in the Dubai Gold Cup and the trainer is hoping he can arrest the worrying declining trend. “My concern is that I might have left my year behind in Dubai, but I've been perfectly happy with him at home,” he told the Qipco British Champions Series. “It wasn't easy getting him out of a field in December to have him ready for a fast-ground race in Dubai that looked like a group one three months later.”

“It was a Flightline-type performance, but he didn't get the Flightline-type recognition,” Morrison added of the Lonsdale Cup victory. “It might have been a once-in-a-lifetime performance, but I do think it was exceptional, and the disappointment was that neither Stradivarius nor Trueshan ran that day because we'd have got the credit then. Coltrane obviously didn't run to his best, but Quickthorn absolutely dominated him and I think if you look at the sectionals, he went fast all of the way. The ground had gone when he went to Longchamp, and it was the same story at Ascot. The year before he'd had enough by October, and I think that was probably a factor again, too.”

Marygate Poser

Friday's undercard at York includes the 19th edition of the five-furlong Listed Clipper EBF Marygate Fillies' S. which has attracted a trio of juveniles by first-crop sires. Chief among them is Amo Racing's TDN Rising Star Persian Dreamer (Calyx {GB}), one of two representing Dominic Ffrench Davis, who bids to underline a stunning debut performance at Newmarket last month. Her contemporaries include race sponsor Clipper Logistics' Newmarket runner-up Dorothy Lawrence (GB) (Soldier's Call {GB}) from the double-handed Karl Burke team and the once-raced Brian Ellison trainee Callianassa (Ire) (Invincible Army {Ire}).

Queen Bee?

Also on Friday is a potentially talent-rich renewal of the Listed Oaks Farm Stables Fillies' S., where Normandie Stud's TDN Rising Star Queen For You (Ire) (Kingman {GB}) bids to take further steps towards the G1 Coronation S. won by her dam Fallen For You (GB) (Dansili {GB}) 11 years ago. With the John and Thady Gosden stable which houses its usual quota of high-class fillies, she made the ideal start at Ascot early this month and Thady is hoping she keeps building. “She seems to have come forward for the run and although it is a big jump up into listed company, we'd be hopeful,” he said. Also engaged in what could be a key prep for the Royal Ascot fillies' feature is Godolphin's Newmarket maiden winner Silver Lady (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), a daughter of Lumiere (GB) (Shamardal), and James Wigan's Haydock scorer Stormy Sea (GB) (Territories {Ire}), a half-sister to Bay Bridge (GB) (New Bay {GB}).

Next Stop Emily Dickinson

Last year's renewal of Leopardstown's G3 Saval Beg Levmoss S. saw the arrival front-and-centre of Ballydoyle's Kyprios (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) on the stayers' scene with a 14-length success in the 14-furlong Gold Cup prep and Friday's edition sees the stable's more-than-able deputy Emily Dickinson (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}). Demonstrative when ending her 3-year-old campaign and beginning her current season with clear-cut wins in the division's key Irish races, the G3 Loughbrown S. and Listed Vintage Crop S., the daughter of Chicquita (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}) bids to win over Ryan Moore who dashes here from York after partnering another potential Gold Cup ride in Broome (Ire) (Australia {GB}).

Modern Games Stars In Lockinge Field

Godolphin's G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains, GI Woodbine Mile and GI Breeders' Cup Mile hero Modern Games (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) will face 12 rivals in Saturday's G1 Al Shaqab Lockinge S. at Newbury. Charlie Appleby reported the 2022 Eclipse Champion Male Turf Horse, who was second in Keeneland's GI Maker's Mark Mile last month, to be raring to go for the mile feature for which he is drawn on the wing. “Hopefully, this will be the opportunity for Modern Games to win a Group 1 in the UK. The Maker's Mark Mile proved a strangely-run race from our perspective, but he came out of it well and heads to Newbury in great shape. We know that he is a crack miler and he goes here with the benefit of a run under his belt. Conditions at Newbury should suit, especially with the drying ground, and he is going to be a big player.”

John and Thady Gosden supply Juddmonte's TDN Rising Star and G1 Sun Chariot S. runner-up Laurel (GB) (Kingman {GB}), while fellow Newmarket raider My Prospero (Ire) (Iffraaj {GB}) kickstarts his 4-year-old campaign having finished third in the G1 Champion S. at Ascot in October. He is drawn next to Modern Games in 12, while Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum's Jadoomi (Fr) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}), who finished third behind Bayside Boy (Ire) (New Bay {GB}) and Modern Games in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II S., is drawn on the other extreme in one.

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