BECKETT AIMS KINROSS AND BLUESTOCKING AT SKY BET EBOR FESTIVAL AT YORK
KINROSS and Bluestocking are set to spearhead trainer Ralph Beckett’s strong team for the Sky Bet Ebor Festival, which gets underway on Wednesday 23 August at York Racecourse.
Kinross will be sent in search of repeat glory in the now £500,000 Sky Bet City of York Stakes, which will be the Pattern race highlight of Saturday 26 August.
Twelve months ago, the evergreen gelding won the seven-furlong Group 2 race by a length and a quarter, from Pogo.
That was the first of four straight top-level successes, culminating in a Group 1 triumph in the QIPCO British Champion Sprint Stakes, last October.
This season Kinross finished seventh and third in Group 1 company over six furlongs at Royal Ascot and Newmarket. But, the six-year-old bounced back to winning ways at Glorious Goodwood with a narrow victory in the seven-furlong Group 2 Lennox Stakes.
Beckett, who trains at Kimpton Down Stables, said: “It was great to get his head in front again last week and our intention is to run in the City of York. He’s already shown a liking for the place.
“He’s very versatile, having won a Champion Sprint and nearly won a Breeders’ Cup Mile as well. He’s not specific but seven furlongs is definitely his optimum.”
Beckett also has Angel Bleu entered in the Sky Bet City of York Stakes but said: “He would only go if it was wet. He’s in good form but he does need slow ground.”
Bluestocking is the Hampshire stable’s sole Group 1 entry of the week – she’s in the Pertemps Network Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday 24 August.
On what was only her fourth career start, she stepped up on her previous form to be beaten only by half a length in the Irish Oaks, by odds-on favourite Savethelastdance.
Asked if Bluestocking’s run at The Curragh felt like a near-miss or a giant step forward, a laughing Beckett replied: “Both!”
He added: “It was a good effort. We were thrilled with her. Our intention is to run in the Yorkshire Oaks, certainly. She came back from Ireland in good shape and we’re on course.”
Beckett notched up three winners at Glorious Goodwood and is keen to keep the ball rolling on the Knavesmire. He said: “It’s always important to show off at the festivals. We had a good Goodwood; hopefully we can carry it on into York.
“Jimi Hendrix will probably run in the Strensall Stakes (26 August). We’ll have a few for the handicaps as well. We’re hoping to come with a team, for sure.”
Those handicaps will all offer a minimum of £100,000 in prize money.