Battaash made it third time lucky in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes on the third day of York's Ebor Festival with a blistering display. Charlie Hills' five year old had finished fourth in both 2017 and 2018 but the Dark Angel gelding made no mistake this time with a three and three quarters of a length win in a course record time. Ironically, he broke the record previously set by the same owner's Dayjur in the same race twenty nine years ago. The July Cup winner Ten Sovereigns could only finish sixth and never looked comfortable dropping back to the minimum trip for the first time. Even though Ryan Moore was able to get his mount into a prominent position early on, he had to push him to do so, whereas Battaash was on the bridle for the first three or four furlongs.
Treat gained compensation for his narrow defeat in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood by proving too good for his rivals in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes. Oisin Murphy's mount was always going well and only had to be pushed out to beat Lord of The Lodge by a length and a quarter. He was value for more than the winning margin and his trainer Richard Hannon has two very smart juveniles in the Footstepsinthesand colt and Thursday's sales winner Mums Tipple.
Advised at 5/2, Treat was another winner for the York Ebor Update and my other selection in the race, Repartee (advised at 14/1), ran well in third. Kevin Ryan's charge had disappointed on slow ground at Newbury last time and was much more at home on this quicker surface. The subject of strong support beforehand, he held every chance but wasn't good enough behind a very good winner.
Corelli (advised at 11/1) was my selection in the opening twelve furlongs handicap on Friday and, for the third time this season, John Gosden's four year old has finished a close second. Beaten a head by 33/1 outsider Tamreer, he was denied by half a length at Newmarket in May and a short head at the same track (July course) earlier this month. If ever a horse deserves a change of fortune, it is the Point of Entry gelding.
As discussed, the York Update featured 15 unraced two year olds and Royal Crusade (5/6) ensured the section got off to a winning start at Newmarket on Friday. A well bred colt by Shamardal, he was well supported beforehand and travelled like a high quality juvenile. Despite shifting left late on, he won by a neck from Hot Summer and always looked in control. It will be interesting to see where Charlie Appleby's charge goes next but he looks to have a bright future.
Finally, Armory, who is included in the Ballydoyle Juveniles section in Ahead On The Flat, made it three wins for four starts in the Group 2 Futurity Stakes at the Curragh. Indeed, it was Aidan O'Brien's thirteenth win in the seven furlongs event and almost certainly sets up a tilt at the Group 1 National Stakes over the same C&D next month. Ryan Moore made the journey from York to Ireland and the decision paid off as the Galileo colt prevailed by three parts of a length. Workmanlike rather than impressive, he is getting better with each race and will be the one they all have to beat in late September.
STOP PRESS: Audarya (100/30) was nominated as a horse to follow in the Royal Ascot Update and James Fanshawe's filly won the finale at Goodwood on Friday evening. The daughter of Wootton Bassett hadn't run up to scratch at York last time over ten furlongs but was back to form over a mile scoring off a mark of 87.
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