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Series Stars who could shine bright at York

18 Aug 2017

We look at six contenders who could steal the headlines at next week's Yorkshire Ebor Festival

Wesley Ward will be hoping Lady Aurelia can again dazzle on British shores. Picture:

The Yorkshire Ebor Festival is always one of the highlights of the summer and next week’s meeting is unlikely to be any exception with four QIPCO British Champions Series races taking place between Wednesday and Friday. Here are six Series stars who could help light up proceedings on the Knavesmire.

Record in Group 1 races: 212
Race: Juddmonte International
You could argue that the Richard Hannon-trained colt is unlucky not to be unbeaten. His only defeats have been runner-up in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, when he stumbled badly in the Dip and challenged wider than ideal, and when beaten a nose by Ulysses in the Coral-Eclipse. In between, he won the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. He proved his ability to stay a mile and a quarter at Sandown last month and in time the Godolphin-owned colt is likely to get the chance to shine over a mile and a half.

Record in Group 1 races: —
Race: Coolmore Nunthorpe
The three-year-old was not on the radar of many people when it came to the tag of champion sprinter at the start of the season but he now looks a contender after two impressive wins at Sandown (the second in a course record time) and in the King George Stakes at Goodwood on his latest start, when he beat Group 1 winners Profitable and Marsha in decisive fashion. Softish ground did not blunt his speed at Goodwood last time and his first run in the Series is eagerly awaited.

Record in Group 1 races: 1114
Race: Juddmonte International
The champion two-year-old of last year hit the ground running this term with successive victories in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas. He was then sent off at 1-2 to extend his winning sequence to eight in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot but was a subdued fourth. His below-par run at the Royal Meeting remains something of a mystery but he now gets the chance to bounce back over a longer trip, having been a late withdrawal from the Qatar Sussex Stakes because of very testing ground.

Record in Group 1 races: 111
Race: Yorkshire Oaks
Few would dispute she is the best three-year-old performer, of either gender, over a mile and a half and she will start at cramped odds to gain a third successive Series win on Thursday. The John Gosden-trained filly was a brilliant five-length winner of the Investec Oaks at Epsom in June under Frankie Dettori and was similarly impressive when routing the opposition in the Irish equivalent before slamming the opposition QIPCO-sponsored King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot last month.

Record in Group 1 races: 131
Race: Coolmore Nunthorpe
Dazzling at Royal Ascot for the past two years, Lady Aurelia’s first appearance at York will be something to cherish. Those who had a suspicion her seven-length win in the Queen Mary last year was something of a freakish one-off had to think again when she breezed to an emphatic success in the King’s Stand Stakes in June at the expense of Group 1 winners Profitable and Marsha. She has since had a break back in her native America and her clash with Battaash promises to satisfy those with a need for speed.

Record in Group 1 races: 04312
Race: Juddmonte International
The regally bred four-year-old has come of age this year – his Coral-Eclipse triumph being sandwiched in between finishing third in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and second in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. On the latter occasion, the combination of a mile and a half and soft ground would not have been ideal for him. Expect even more from him back over a mile and a quarter on a sounder surface, as he attempts to give Sir Michael Stoute a record sixth win in the Juddmonte International.