STARS STAND GROUND AHEAD OF GROUP TWO FEATURE AT YORK

LIMATO and Snazzy Jazzy remain under consideration for the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes, the £165,000 sprint feature on the opening day of York’s new season – Wednesday 15 May.

The Henry Candy-trained Limato and Clive Cox’s charge, Snazzy Jazzy, both stood their ground at yesterday’s confirmation stage as 16 entries were left in the six-furlong Group 2 contest.

But the prospect of a clash between the two speedsters looks unlikely given their contrasting ground preferences. Candy wants good ground or better for Limato, while Cox is hoping for underfoot ease to suit Snazzy Jazzy.

However, both trainers appear eager to take the wraps of their respective charges, issuing positive bulletins. Indeed Candy was particularly upbeat in assessing two-time Group 1 hero Limato, who has previous strong course & distance form at York. He landed the Listed Ryedale House Garrowby Stakes last September, while in 2016 he was runner-up behind sprint star, Mecca’s Angel, in the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes..

Candy said: “I’m delighted with the way he looks and he’s certainly retained all of his old enthusiasm – he’s in great form.

“As ever with Limato, him running is entirely ground dependent. He scrambled home on good-to-soft ground in the Garrowby at York last year and he didn’t like it much. I think in a race of that class next week he ought to have good ground or firmer.”

Cox, who saddled champion sprinter Harry Angel to a two-length success in this contest last year, also issued a positive update on rising force Snazzy Jazzy.

The son of Red Jazz progressed sharply last year, ending his three-year-old campaign with a Group 3 victory in France and he will be Knavesmire-bound next week as long as there is sufficient give in the ground for him.

“He has wintered really well,” Cox said. “He has been a prolific prize-money winner, landing the valuable sales race in Ireland as a two-year-old before excelling in the Silver Cup at Ayr last year, while he finished off with a great Group 3 success in Maisons-Laffitte.

“The going is the most important ingredient in his performance as that brings out the best in him. Ease in the ground would be crucial for him stepping up to Group 2 level and we’ll take a view.”

The confirmations for the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes also include last year’s runner-up, Brando, who landed the Prix Maurice de Gheest in 2017.

He is one of three entries for Hambleton-based trainer, Kevin Ryan, who could also be represented by Hey Jonesy and Major Jumbo, while James Tate has confirmed impressive Cammidge Trophy winner, Invincible Army.

The Group-race action is set to continue later on the card with the 59th running of the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes – a key trial for next month’s Investec Oaks and one that has attracted 14 potential participants.

Champion trainer John Gosden has won the £100,000 Group 3 five times in the last decade and he has made two entries this season – Sparkle Roll and Entitle.

The former defied a penalty in good style at Sandown last month while the latter – who broke her maiden at Lingfield in December – is a half-sister to the exceptional Enable, who lit up the Knavesmire when scorching five lengths clear of her rivals in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks prior to landing the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2017.

Irish trainer, Aidan O’Brien, fresh from landing both the Qipco 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, has made two entries in the form of Fire Fly and Peach Tree. William Haggas could call on Frankellina and Rainbow Heart as he seeks to keep the prize in Newmarket having saddled Give And Take to victory last year.

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday 15 May 15 – Friday 17 May inclusively.
For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk

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