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Monday, July 18, 2011



Dominant (6/1 with Sky Bet - full list of prices below) could face older rivals for the first time in the Group Two Sky Bet York Stakes (3.05pm) over 10 furlongs at York on Saturday, July 23, after connections entered the exciting three-year-old for the £100,000 contest.


The race has attracted 15 entries including Group One winners Twice Over (7/2), Campanologist (14/1) and Cavalryman (5/1).


Trained by Roger Varian for Highclere Thoroughbred Racing’s Isinglass syndicate, Dominant emerged as a colt of Pattern race potential when slamming his rivals to take the £150,000 Tattersalls Millions 3-Y-O Cup over the distance at Newmarket on June 25.   


Harry Herbert, Managing Director of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, revealed today: “The choice regarding Dominant is between the Sky Bet York Stakes or the Prix Eugene Adam at Maisons-Laffitte (on Sunday, July 24), which is for three-year-olds only. We want to have a look at both races before we make a decision.


“We feel that the horse is ready to move into Pattern company. He is working very well and he seems to be thriving. We just want to compare notes on the race, look at the other entries and see where we stand. We will run him in the spot we feel he has the best chance. We are seriously considering York but we will probably know for sure on Wednesday.


“He is definitely of a rating now that says he should be running in a race like the Sky Bet York Stakes, or indeed the contest at Maisons-Laffitte.”


Dominant, successful in the first of two starts as a juvenile last year, was runner-up on his three-year-old debut at Sandown in April but was beaten into fifth when a warm favourite for the London Gold Cup at Newbury in May before registering that impressive Newmarket triumph.


Herbert continued: “We were very hopeful last time - he had worked very well indeed coming into that race. He looked fantastic and we thought the race was all set up very well for him. It was the right spot and certainly very big prize money. I wouldn’t say that we were expecting him to win as impressively as he did but it was a very exciting performance. On the clock alone, it was unbelievable and Timeform put him up to 115p on the back of that.


“I am not overly fussed about the ground. It was very quick ground at Newbury when he ran badly but in fact he wasn’t right after the race - his blood was wrong. I don’t think ground is a huge issue for him and we think he will handle any going, which is a bonus.


“We will get to the next stage and then see what happens but we think he is a very important horse and one that will be able to go to war at Pattern level.”


The Sky Bet York Stakes was inaugurated on the Knavesmire in 2006 and Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor has won the race twice - more than any other trainer. Stage Gift triumphed in 2007, while Kirklees scored in 2009.


Bin Suroor has engaged dual Group One hero Campanologist, who was runner-up to Pipedreamer in the 2008 renewal, as well as 2009 Group One Grand Prix de Paris victor Cavalryman. The Godolphin handler may also run the Group Three-winning filly Sajjhaa who was runner-up to Midday in the Group Two Middleton Stakes over the course and distance in May.


Twice Over, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, is one of the top 10-furlong horses in Europe, having landed the last year’s Eclipse Stakes and the Emirates Airlines Champion Stakes in 2009 and 2010.


Sir Michael Stoute took the first running of the Sky Bet York Stakes in 2006 with Best Alibi and he has engaged the progressive Class Is Class, who slammed the John Gosden-trained Tazeez by four lengths to win a Sandown Listed contest on July 1.


Stoute could also run the four-year-old filly Eleanora Duse, successful in last year’s Group Two Blandford Stakes.


Kings Gambit and Distant Memories are Group Three winners for trainer Tom Tate, while the Barry Hills-trained Ransom Note landed the Group Three Earl Of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket in April but since then he has found the likes of Goldikova and Canford Cliffs too good in Group One company.


Also engaged are Saptapadi, popular old stager Nanton, Forte Dei Marmi and Malthouse, who was runner-up to Dominant at Newmarket.


Matt Doyle of Sky Bet said: “We are thrilled to see such a high-class entry for the Sky Bet York Stakes with Twice Over an Eclipse winner whose consecutive wins in the Champion Stakes set the standard.


“Godolphin is numerically strongest with three entries and could bid to improve on its fine record in a Group Two it has won twice in the last five years.


“The Roger Varian-trained Dominant is a three-year-old who looked a Group performer in the making winning so impressively at Newmarket's July meeting.”


Sky Bet York Stakes, York, Saturday, July 23, sponsors' betting:

7/2 Twice Over, 5 Cavalryman, 6 Sajjhaa, Dominant, Class Is Class, 10 Tazeez, 11 Eleanora Duse, 12 Distant Memories, 14 Campanologist, 16 Kings Gambit, Ransom Note, 20 Forte Dei Marmi, 28 Saptapadi, 33 Nanton, 40 Malthouse


Place terms: 1/5 odds, first 3 places


The fantastic seven-race card at York on July 23 is sponsored exclusively by Sky Bet and also features the prestigious £50,000 Sky Bet Dash Handicap (3.40pm) over six furlongs, which has attracted 45 entries.


Among those are the Mick Easterby-trained Hoof It, victorious over the course and distance in May, recent Ascot winner Kanaf, trained by Ed Dunlop and the Gerard Butler-trained Swiss Cross, who defeated the Dandy Nicholls-trained Tajneed to score over the distance at Epsom on Derby Day, June 4.


Matt Doyle added: “Hoof It is sure to be a warm order with the locals in the Dash back at the scene of his finest hour and Mick Easterby’s sprinter could have the services of Kieren Fallon who completed the big-race double in our two headline sponsored races 12 months ago.”


Sky Bet Dash, York, Saturday, July 23, sponsors’ betting:

5 Hoof It, 11 Fathsta, 12 Entitled, Valery Borzov, 14 Murbeh, Eton Rifles, Kanaf, 16 Tajneed, Racy, Corporal Maddox, Roker Park, 18 Swiss Franc, 20 Mister Hughie, Klynch, Baby Strange, Swiss Cross, Murura, Saucy Brown, 22 Barney McGrew, Swilly Ferry, 25 Irish Heartbeat, R Woody, Favourite Girl, Medici Time, Lost In Paris, Madany, Star Rover, Dorback, Loki’s Revenge, New Planet, Singeur, 28 Midnight Martini, 33 Silaah, Ginger Ted, Misplaced Fortune, Baldemar, Oldjoesaid, Azzurura Du Caprio, Greyfriarschorista, 40 Befortyfour, Desert Creek, Discanti, Mirza, Amenable, Bonnie Charlie


Place terms: 1/4 odds, first 4 places




The ground at York is currently Good, Good to Soft in Places.




Year       Horse                    Age/Wgt                Owner                                   Trainer                                  Jockey                  Ran        SP

2006       BEST ALIBI          3-8-06                    Gainsborough Stud             Sir Michael Stoute               Ryan Moore          5              2/1F

2007       STAGE GIFT         4-9-02                    Godolphin                             Saeed bin Suroor                Jamie Spencer    8              8/1

2008       PIPEDREAMER   4-9-02                    Cheveley Park Stud            John Gosden                        Seb Sanders        7              2/1F

2009       KIRKLEES            5-9-02                    Godolphin                             Saeed bin Suroor                Frankie Dettori     9              Evens F

2010       SUMMIT SURGE  6-9-02                   W Bellew                               Luca Cumani                       Kieren Fallon        8              8/1


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