Nostrum's Mettle To Be Tested At HQ


Holloway BoyGetty Images


Newmarket's three-day Cambridgeshire festival features 10 black-type heats, reaching the high plateau of Saturday's G1 Cheveley Park S. and G1 Middle Park S., and opens Thursday with the four-runner G3 Tattersalls S.–also known as the Somerville Tattersall S.–the highlight of day one. Sir Michael Stoute has not won this contest since 1994, when Annus Mirabilis (Fr) (Warning {GB}) joined the race's honour roll, and the veteran trainer relies on Juddmonte's homebred Nostrum (GB) (Kingman {GB}–Mirror Lake {GB}, by Dubai Destination), who has been rerouted from last week's cancelled Listed Flying Scotsman S., in his attempt to bridge a 28-year gap. The March-foaled bay powered to a 'TDN Rising Star' rosette with a scintillating display over this seven-furlong trip at Sandown in July and makes his eagerly awaited return coming back off that three-length tally.


Hardened Foe On Show

Nostrum encounters just three opponents, but competition is fierce with the presence of a stakes-winning duo placed at Group 2 level, namely Karl Burke trainee Holloway Boy (GB) (Ulysses {Ire}) and Godolphin's Victory Dance (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}). Both won their June 18 debut, Holloway Boy in Royal Ascot's Listed Chesham S. and Victory Dance in a novices' heat at the town's July course, with the former subsequently posting a second in July's G2 Vintage S. at Goodwood. The latter has since followed up a G2 Superlative S. second with a win in the Listed Denford S. at Newbury. “Victory Dance is in good order and has experience and strong group-race form under his belt,” said Charlie Appleby, who seeks a third straight edition alongside William Buick in the wake of their triumphs with La Barrosa (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) and recent GI Woodbine Mile hero Modern Games (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}). “We are looking forward to him returning to group company and feel he should be very competitive.”


Unlikely Upset

Paul Kwok and Angel Li's rank outsider Abravaggio (Ire) (Caravaggio), ninth on debut at Great Yarmouth last week, is a graduate of the WC Equine academy which once housed this term's Listed City Walls S. victrix and G3 Prix du Petit Couvert third Royal Aclaim (Ire) (Aclaim {Ire}). However, he is unlikely to cause an upset for George Margarson's nearby yard.


Rockfel Tops Friday's Bill

While Thursday's additional stakes action consists of the two-mile Listed Rose Bowl S. and Listed Criterium de Lyon in France, Friday's programme includes a quintet of black-type contests at HQ, headed by the G2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Rockfel S. over seven furlongs. One dozen juvenile fillies have been declared with John and Thady Gosden trainee Commissioning (GB) (Kingman {GB}), who is out of a half-sister to G1 Irish Derby and G1 St Leger hero Capri (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), set to depart from stall one as the likely favourite. The card also features the seven-furlong G2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Joel S., with Hambleton Racing's in-form Tempus (GB) (Kingman ({GB}), successful in last month's G3 Sovereign S. and G3 Prix Quincey, allocated gate one in a field of seven.

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