PROGRESSIVE four-year-old Frontiersman is set for his toughest assignment to date when he tackles the Listed feature on York’s first Saturday, the weddingmates.co.uk<http://weddingmates.co.uk> Grand Cup Stakes.
The Godolphin-owned colt got his 2017 campaign off to the best possible start with victory in a competitive handicap at Newmarket’s QIPCO Guineas Festival.
With an official rating of 109, connections feel he is ready for the step up to Pattern company and look forward to him taking his chance on the first of seven Saturday fixtures on the Knavesmire.
Trainer Charlie Appleby said: “He has come out of his win at Newmarket well and the plan at this stage is to run at York.
“We see the race as a bit of a fact-finding mission as we are stepping up in trip to a mile and three-quarters and we are hoping that this might open doors for him in the future.
“He is a beautifully bred horse – I couldn’t be happier with him and I feel that he has got this level in him.
“As I said before, this race will, all being well, show us whether he is a horse to campaign in pattern mile and a half races or make up into a ‘Cup’ performer.”
It would be no surprise to see Frontiersman take the step up in grade in his stride and add some more ‘black type’ to what is already one of the best pedigrees in racing. By Dubawi, Frontiersman is out of seven-time Group 1 winner Ouija Board and a half-brother to Investec Derby hero, Australia. In addition to the Classic at Epsom, Australia also took the 2014-renewal of the Group 1 Juddmonte International on the Knavesmire.
Another colt, bred from the highest class, who could contest this £50,000 prize is Midterm, a son of Galileo and multiple Group 1 winner Midday. Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, highly regarded as a three year old, finished third in last weekend’s Al Rayyan Stakes at Newbury and carries the famous Juddmonte colours.
York favourite, Clever Cookie, trained locally by Peter Niven looks set to take his chance in a race that he has twice landed (2014 & 2015). The intriguing Harrison, an emphatic winner of a conditions event at Chelmsford last time out for trainer Mick Channon, could add further spice to the contest.
Newmarket-based Yorkshireman William Haggas, who enjoyed a fine Dante Festival, has two entries in Dal Harraild and the unbeaten filly Signe; as does David Simcock who could be represented by Curbyourenthusiasm and Goldmember.
Saturday will see a fascinating seven-race card and, as is always the case at York, there might just be a future champion on show. Two years ago, Galileo Gold, finished second on his racecourse debut in the Yorkshire Regiment British EBF Novice Stakes before going on to multiple top-flight success including last year’s Qipco 2000 Guineas.
The action gets underway at 2.10pm and with a bright forecast, the track have relaxed the dress code in County Stand meaning no formal jacket is required, though a collared shirt and tie, is still the obligation for gentlemen.
For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk<http://www.yorkracecourse.co.uk/>