ENTITLE will seek to enhance her Investec Oaks credentials when she lines up in the £100,000 Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York tomorrow.
Prince Khalid Abdullah’s filly is sure to be the focus of understandable attention in the race preliminaries as she is a half-sister to the outstanding Enable, winner of the last two renewals of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Like her elder sibling, Entitle is trained by John Gosden. So far she has raced just twice, the second of those bringing a one-length victory in a novice stakes at Lingfield.
The Tattersalls Musidora Stakes will be a much stiffer challenge as she progresses into Group 3 class. She will face nine rivals over an extended mile and a quarter on the Knavesmire.
Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Prince Khalid, said: “It’s only Entitle’s third race and so she is still very much a work in progress. But she has always been a very likeable filly.
“Obviously this will be a big step up for her, but she has been in good form – John has been pleased with her. I think this will be an interesting assignment for her.”
Prince Khalid will also be represented in the same race by Sand Share. Unlike Entitle she doesn’t hold an entry for Epsom but does have more experience in Pattern class. She was third, two lengths behind the winner, in the Group 2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster last September before finishing fourth – albeit beaten by just a length and a quarter – in a Group 3 in Deauville late last autumn.
Lord Grimthorpe assessed: “I thought Sand Share ran a decent race in the May Hill. Then in France she wasn’t beaten very far but we slightly expected a little bit better.
“She has taken a while to come to hand – a month ago she was quite wintery. But she has been moving forward and (the Musidora) will tell us where we ought to be. Sand Share isn’t in the Oaks. I would think she’s probably more a mile-and-a-quarter filly at this stage.”
On the same card Prince Khalid will also have two runners in the Sky Bet Race to the Ebor Jorvik Handicap. First Eleven, from the stable of champion trainer John Gosden, and the Hugo Palmer-trained, Collide, will contest the mile-and-a-half race, offering both a £50,000 purse and a berth in the handicap feature of York’s season, the £1m, Sky Bet Ebor itself. First Eleven will be having his first start since tackling a Group 3 at Ascot last October, while Collide comes into the race off the back of an all-weather triumph at Kempton last month.
Lord Grimthorpe assessed: “Collide has been a very progressive horse. He did well to get up and win at Kempton after a little bit of a battle in the straight. He showed that he was back on course. He wouldn’t want it too firm.
“First Eleven is starting out for this year. He’s a nice horse. He was third in the Cumberland Lodge – it was probably just a bit too soft for him, but he ran pretty decently and won a good handicap the time before. He’s in pretty good shape – I’d hope he’ll do himself justice.”
The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday, May 15 – Friday, May 17 inclusively.