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Five Series stars we can’t wait to see at York next week

12 Aug 2020

Sadly no Enable, but there's plenty of talent heading North for York's showpiece week.

The Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival is always one of the British racing calendar, and despite there being no crowds, 2020 looks set to be another stellar year absolutely brimming with equine talent.

We’ve cherry picked some of the stars that look set to receive top billing on the Knavesmire.

Battaash

Speed, speed and more speed! Charlie Hills’ superstar sprinter has built on an already lofty reputation this season, and become the headline name in the sprinting division. He goes back to the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, having broken a 29-year track record in the last renewal. If he’s in anything like the form he was when seen last time at Goodwood, where he broke his own course record, then quite simply, he looks untouchable.

He’s certainly been one of the highlights of the flat season  in 2020 and all eyes will be on him and partner Jim Crowley in the Group 1 contest on Friday.

Love

Aidan O’Brien’s filly has really come of age at three. She’s mopped up both the fillies’ Classics so far this season, opening her 2020 account with a sensational performance in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas. She then backed up with bells on in the Investec Oaks and couldn’t have been more impressive – emphatically putting her rivals to the sword to win by a record nine lengths.

The dream of a match-up with superstar Enable in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks was sadly dashed this week.  Connections feeling that Kempton Park’s September Stakes was a better prep for Enable’s long-term target the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

This means that Love is huranteed to be the centre of attention in the fillies’ race at York and another dominant display is expected from the star-in-the-making.

Ghaiyyath

Another horse who has really come into his own this season. Last year Ghaiyyath was something of an enigma, flitting from the sublime to the disappointing with each passing contest. However this year he has established himself as a Group 1 performer out of the very top draw. Utilising his devastating front-running style he’s left equine titans in the shape of Stradivarius and Enable unable to land a glove on him in their respective duals.

He runs in the Juddmonte International on Wednesday and will be a very warm order to add more Group 1 honours to his burgeoning CV.

Kameko

Kameko gave Qatar Racing and Oisin Murphy the perfect start to the delayed season when landing the QIPCO 2000 Guineas; setting a new course record in the process. But the son of Kittens Joy has since had tough luck in both of his follow-up runs.

Firstly, a freakishly run Investec Derby clearly didn’t play to speedy traits and doubts about the 12 furlong trip were vindicated. The subsequent drop back down to a mile in the Qatar Sussex Stakes saw him fall foul of the Goodwood Gods. Having travelled powerfully throughout the race, like so many before him, he could not get a clear run on the home straight. His 4th placed finish once again not allowing him to show his true talent.

It was confirmed by Andrew Balding that he would take his chance in the Juddmonte International against Ghaiyyath at York. The step up in trip to the 10 furlongs appears within his reach and that the long gaping straight at York should help mitigate any hard luck stories.

Balding commented in an interview with Sun Racing this week, “We were leaning towards France (Prix Du Moulin  with him but it now looks like we’re going to go to York for the Juddmonte International on Wednesday.

“We’ve got him in great form. He’s got to prove himself at a mile-and-a-quarter, but we think the track will suit him better than Goodwood.

“The trip is obviously a slight question mark but given the way he’s finished his races you would have to think it will suit him.”

Lord North

We haven’t seen Lord North since his impressive victory in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. He sealed his rise from the handicapping ranks right to the very top in some style that day, trouncing proper Group 1 performers in Addeybb, Barney Roy and Japan.

His turn of foot in the final stages will certainly be tested as he’ll be attempting to do what no horse has done in 2020; catch Ghaiyyath. He’ll certainly be fresh on the day having not run for two months and currently sits as second-favourite in the early betting markets at 4/1