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Top class turnout for first Long Distance race

16 May 2012

A top class field has been declared to run in Friday's Sportingbet Yorkshire Cup, race three in the 2012 QIPCO British Champions Series and the first in the Long Distance division.

Red Cadeaux is the likely favourite for Friday’s Sportingbet Yorkshire Cup. Image courtesy of

Last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up, Red Cadeaux, the 2010 Ladbrokes St Leger winner, Arctic Cosmos, and the fast improving ex-French stayer, Be Fabulous, feature amongst a top class, fascinating line-up for Friday’s Sportingbet Yorkshire Cup, the first Long Distance race of the 2012 QIPCO British Champions Series.

Eight horses have been declared for the feature race on the final day of York’s Dante Meeting and the field also includes the classy mile-and-a-half horse Harris Tweed, who needs to prove he can stay Friday’s 1m 6f trip, the promising Times Up and the tough veteran, Blue Bajan, who ran the race of his life to finish runner-up to Duncan in this race last year.

Red Cadeaux is the likely favourite for Ed Dunlop’s Newmaket stable. He will be looking to build on his overseas exploits late last year – as well as his brilliant Melbourne Cup run in November, when he failed by only a whisker to land the biggest prize in Australia, he was also a fine third in the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin in December.

He got his season under way with a good second in the Sagaro Stakes at Kempton earlier this month and should be cherry ripe for this.

Arctic Cosmos came back from a year off with an injury to win a small race at Kempton in March, but followed that with a dismal failure behind easy winner Harris Tweed in the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes at Newbury last month.

The soft ground was against Arctic Cosmos that day and he may well bounce back on the likely better surface on Friday, but he does have a bit to prove now. His Leger victory in 2010 still endures though and on that form he would have a great chance.

Harris Tweed often looks good with cut in the ground over a mile and a half, but he has never won beyond that distance and the ground may not be soft enough for him to show his best this time.

Blue Bajan and Times Up can both be expected to run well, but the fascinating horse is Be Fabulous, who was brought along gently by master trainer Andre Fabre in France last year and won her last three races there with considerable ease, including her first attempt at Group 1 level on her final start.

She has to carry a Group 1 penalty and it is her first start of the season for new trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni, but she could be a top class stayer in the making and Frankie Dettori takes the ride.

The race will be shown live on Channel 4 at 2.30pm on Friday, so if you can’t make it to York, make sure you catch it live. 

For background on the race and the full field, CLICK HERE.