The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (3.40) at York races today looks to be one of the best sprints seen of the entire year and it is sure to be one of the fastest minutes of the year.
Golddream hasn’t had the fortune this season that he did last but today he gets his ground on a fast five furlongs. On good or faster ground last season he took the Palace House Stakes, Kings’ Stand and the L’Abbaye at Longchamp, and he was fifth in this last year when the slow ground blunted his speed and on two starts in the UAE he clearly never acclimated properly. Back on fast ground eh was third behind Take Cover in the King George Stakes but that was his first run in 125 days and if he improved as can be expected then he’s got to have every chance of reversing that form and improving on his fifth last year. At the time of writing – just past the Acomb on Wednesday – the ground loos fast, with Simon Rowlands of Timeform saying that “61.77s for the opener at York is just 0.05s outside the course record for what is a little-used distance.” There is a worry about the rain set to fall tomorrow – some estimating that water will hit the track from 1, others saying from 3 – but if conditions stay dry he’s the one – check weather here.
Mecca’s Angel was brilliant when winning this last year, taking apart her field, and she looked back to that form when winning the Sapphire Sprint in style at the Curragh. If the rain does fall and starts falling early, then she has shown that she’s ready to defend her title. Easton Angel didn’t get an immediate run at Goodwood and is top of the also ran shortlist whilst Yalta is more feared of the two year olds after an extremely impressive Molecomb Stakes win (Price of Lir disappointing last time).
It can’t hurt to have more than one against the field here and the two premier sprinters of the season in the shape of Limato and Profitable, who duked it out in the July Cup last time. Limato was wildly impressive there and has to be respected, but this is a very different test here at York and Profitable’s five furlong record leads one to believe that he can get much closer to him than the three and a half lengths that separated them on that occasion, especially with Profitable having previous course form here.
In the City of York Stakes (3.05) Nemoralia is capable of giving Knavesmire punters something to be happy about. Jeremy Noseda’s filly was an impressive winner here at the Dante meeting before a mix of rain softened ground and a poor passage gave her an impossible task against Qemah who went onto take the Rothschild and did so in style afterwards. Nemoralia didn’t live up to favouritism in the Jean Prat but she was given a lot to do there and with a clear run she can beat the progressive pairing of Forge and Librisa Breeze here today.
The Lonsdale Cup (2.30) is a small but select field and Trip To Paris is capable of making amends for a disappointment in this race last season. That dull run came after a gruelling first half of the campaign when he had been on the go since March, and afterwards he was a late finishing second in the Caufield Cup before a fine fourth at Melborune. He has had some injury issues this season but was recovered in time to run a fine third in what looked a decent Group 3 at Newbury over 10 furlongs and he should take the beating back at his right trip again. He has though opposition in the shape of Clever Cookie, Quest or More, and Pallastor, all of whom have run fine races, whilst Wicklow Brave and Curbyourenthusiasm
The Sky Bet First Race Special Stakes (1.55) has little that looks special about it can can be left to the Channel 4 cameras. In the opening show Rivet is an understandable favourite, having closed nicely from off the pace at Ascot in a maiden which has already had its form boosted by the well beaten last two home. However in this most competitive of settings that looks short and Black River and Dance Teacher are just two of those who can be given chances; Star Stream was a good fourth on debut behind Black River and with Lockheed having finished third in the Acomb, he could be the value but the unraced horses are always of interest so avoid this race.
In the Nationwide Accident Repair Services Stakes (4.50) Arcanarda has found a new lease of life this summer, finishing a great fourth in the Britannia where he led the whole nearside at a gallop that would have stuffed many and he then managed to strike whilst the iron is hot when taking a handicap at Chester. He’s now 7lbs higher but that still looks fair and he’s given an each/way chance.
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1 pt each/way Goldream, 3.40 York (14/1 general)*
1 pt win Profitable, 3.40 York (13/2 general)
2 pts win Trip to Paris, 2.30 York (10/3 SkyBet)
1 pt each/way Arcanada, 4.50 York (8/1 general)