York: “Hopefully We'll See the Nostrum We Saw At Newmarket Again.” Saturday Bonanza Begins with Juddmonte's Rising Star

Nostrum runs Saturday in York's G3 Strensall S. | Tim Goode/PA Media


Saturday's European black-type count stands at a baker's dozen, with eight group races in Britain and Ireland alone featuring several movers and shakers towards the elite level kicking off with Juddmonte's TDN Rising Star Nostrum (GB) (Kingman {GB}) in York's G3 Strensall S. and culminating five hours later with the fellow Sir Michael Stoute-trained Passenger (Ulysses {Ire}) in the G3 Weatherbys Global Stallions Winter Hill S. at Windsor.

Nostrum was surprisingly beaten by fellow TDN Rising Star Epictetus (Ire) (Kingman {GB}) in Goodwood's G3 Thoroughbred S. last time, but is back on quick ground in this contest over what could prove an ideal trip of nearly nine furlongs so it is a case of game on again. His previous performance when upstaging some smart peers including the subsequent G3 Sovereign S. dead-heater Embesto (GB) (Roaring Lion) and G2 Hungerford S. runner-up New Endeavour (Ire) (New Bay {GB}) in Newmarket's Listed Sir Henry Cecil S. stands up as one of the key pieces of mile form this year and connections retain full faith.

“We all called it wrong, we thought he'd have liked the ground the last day as he's a big horse and he bends his knee a bit,” Juddmonte's European racing manager Barry Mahon said. “We were all wrong and Ryan just felt that he couldn't pull himself out of it, it was gluey. There was the factor too that he'd been off the track for so long, there may have been a bounce on his second start–we don't know but he's training well and we're looking forward to seeing him. We think he'll have come forward for the run and we're looking forward to getting him back on a better surface and a more conventional track. Hopefully we'll see the Nostrum we saw at Newmarket again.”

Epictetus Poised For Celebration…
Less than an hour after Nostrum graces York's Knavesmire, the Gosdens send Epictetus back to Goodwood for the G2 Celebration Mile as he builds towards the major autumn tests. With the G1 St James's Palace S. and G1 Sussex S. third Charyn (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) in attendance, this will provide a gauge as to where George Strawbridge's son of Thistle Bird (GB) (Selkirk) is among the leading milers. “He's stepping up in grade again on Saturday, but the drop down to a mile has suited him well and he's been in good order since his last run,” Thady Gosden said. “I don't think he necessarily needs soft ground–he's relatively versatile as regards to it.”

Prestige Contests Continue Thick And Fast…
In between these two contests, there is the G3 Prestige Fillies' S. for 2-year-old fillies at Goodwood where Shaikh Duaij Al Khalifa's Carla's Way (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) gets the chance to atone for a disappointing effort in Royal Ascot's G3 Albany S. with Newtown Anner Stud Farm's 10-length Thirsk novice winner Darnation (Ire) (Too Darn Hot {GB}) in opposition. Back at York minutes later, the £500,000 G2 City of York S. features Marc Chan's G1 Prix de la Foret and G1 British Champions Sprint S.-winning TDN Rising Star Kinross (GB) (Kingman {GB}) who is just about the best there is at this seven-furlong trip.

“It's amazing that York can put up that much prize-money for a group two race,” Chan's racing manager Jamie McCalmont said. “They deserve the race to get upgraded to a group one when they can come up with that sort of money. He certainly doesn't owe us anything right now, but as Frankie says, he's like an ATM machine so let's hope that will continue.”

On a big day for Chan, last year's G1 Cheveley Park S. heroine Lezoo (GB) (Zoustar {Aus}) enjoys a class drop in Newmarket's Listed Hopeful S. after her break since flopping in the G1 Commonwealth Cup. This is also the farewell ride for Andrea Atzeni, who departs for Hong Kong after the meeting. “Andrea is a great guy and the way he's ridden over the last couple of months is as well as he's ever ridden,” McCalmont added. “This is a good stepping stone back, she loves the course, we get her ground and she's fine over the distance, so fingers crossed.”

Best Of The Rest…
As the afternoon action winds down in Britain, The Curragh gets going with the G3 Newtownanner Stud Irish EBF S. over a mile hosting some big middle-distance Classic prospects for 2023. When it comes to these kind of juvenile tests, there is always added intrigue where The Aga Khan's representatives are concerned and so the Dermot Weld-trained Tipperary maiden scorer Shelaka (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) will have plenty of eyes on her. The card also features another significant prize for the juveniles in the six-furlong G3 Heider Family Stables Round Tower S., while the fillies and mares get their shot in the nine-furlong G3 Snow Fairy Fillies S.

Elsewhere, York's Listed Julia Graves Roses S. features Opulence Thoroughbreds and Teme Valley's TDN Rising Star and G3 Molecomb S. runner-up Purosangue (GB) (Aclaim {Ire}), while another TDN Rising Star lines up in Windsor's Listed Weatherbys Digital Solutions August S. over an extended 11 furlongs. That is Anthony Oppenheimer's Kempton novice winner Lion's Pride (GB) (Roaring Lion), who holds an entry in the G1 St Leger and while this is an unorthodox prep for that Classic, the half-brother to Courage Mon Ami (GB) (Frankel {GB}) could yet become a leading light for Doncaster.


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