The Star Attraction at York

Noon Star |

Racing royalty is on show on Wednesday as Juddmonte's Noon Star (Galileo {Ire}) takes an important step towards an Oaks bid in the G3 Tattersalls Musidora S. on York's Knavesmire. Earning 'TDN Rising Star' status when taking a 10-furlong novice event at Wetherby Apr. 25, the daughter of the prolific Group 1 winner Midday (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) received a boost when the fourth home Sherbet Lemon (Lemon Drop Kid) captured Saturday's Listed Lingfield Oaks Trial. Teddy Grimthorpe said of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained homebred, “If you breed Galileo to Midday, you're expecting and hoping to end up at Epsom in early June. That would be the aim of anyone, but obviously she's got to prove that she's a worthy candidate. Midday won twice at York, she won the Middleton S. and the Yorkshire Oaks and was only narrowly beaten by Twice Over in the Juddmonte International.”

Heading the opposition is Ali Saeed's Teona (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}), who broke her maiden by nine lengths in a maiden over this trip on Newcastle's Tapeta in November. A daughter of the owner's G1 Pretty Polly S. winner Ambivalent (Ire) (Authorized {Ire}) who was also successful in the G2 Middleton S. at this venue, trainer Roger Varian is looking for an Oaks candidate to add to his Derby-bound duo of colts. “She looks a very nice filly at home and we've always held her in high regard,” he said. “She's taken a while to come to herself this spring and I should think the run will bring her forward. That said, her last few weeks of training have been very pleasing. She's a big, rangy filly. I trained her mother, who also took a while to come to hand and Teona was never going to be a summer2-year-old–she's all about this year and beyond. This is a nice starting point and a lovely place to start. If she doesn't win it's not the end of the world, but we'd expect her to run well.”

Where the deeply promising Noon Star and Teona lack experience, Nick Bradley Racing's Mystery Angel (Ire) (Kodi Bear {Ire}) has the latter in abundance and is having her fifth start of the year having won Newmarket's Listed Pretty Polly S. over this trip May 2. “She's a filly who takes her racing very well and we'll give it a good shot on Wednesday,” trainer George Boughey commented. “We'll take it one step at a time. I'd say this is as good an Oaks trial as there is, on the pedigrees and the reputations of the two horses in front of us in the market. She would need to be supplemented for the Oaks, which costs the best part of £25,000. I think she would have to win at York to be considered for Epsom, I would say. She's been a star for us and hopefully there's more to come.”

Also on the card is the G2 Duke of York Clipper Logistics S., where David Ward's Starman (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) returns to the course and distance of his success in the Listed Garrowby S. in September. Unable to handle the testing ground when 14th in the G1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint S. at Ascot in October, he remains a sprinter with little mileage and great promise and trainer Ed Walker is looking forward to getting started. “We've been waiting for this race all spring. He's in cracking form,” he said. “I'm a bit disappointed with the potential ground. I'm hoping the rain stays away. He's been training great and moving fantastic, but it's a stiff renewal of the race. He was beaten by a few of these at Ascot last year, for which we blamed the ground. Tom [Marquand] said he couldn't get his feet out of the mud. We're just hoping that on better ground, over the course and distance when he beat Dakota Gold, he can get back to winning ways and prove worthy of a shot at the [G1] Diamond Jubilee.”

Last year's G1 July Cup hero Oxted (GB) (Mayson {GB}) was a shade disappointing when 3/4-of-a-length second to Summerghand (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) in the G3 Abernant S. at Newmarket Apr. 15, but trainer Roger Teal is expecting improvement. “He's been working well and seems to be in good order. I'm very happy with him,” he said. “He'll have to be on his A game, but he goes there in good form.”

One who is trying six furlongs for the first time is Shadwell's Molatham (GB) (Night of Thunder {Ire}), who took Royal Ascot's G3 Jersey S. last June and signed off with a 12th placing in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II S.  at that track in October. “We're hopeful–he's training super and looks fantastic,” trainer Roger Varian said. “He's a deceptive horse, because he's a fairly laid-back worker at home but in his races he's always been a strong traveller. York is quite a sharp track, but we're hoping that he'll handle the drop in trip to six furlongs and runs well enough to put himself in the Diamond Jubilee picture.”

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