HURAIZ TO STEP UP TO GROUP COMPANY AT YORK

IMPRESSIVE debut winner, Huraiz, is set to have his sights raised in the Group 3 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes at York on Wednesday.

The Mark Johnston-trained colt made a striking introduction at Newcastle earlier this month, pulling two and a half lengths clear of his 11 rivals.

A son of Sepoy, the talented juvenile is part of a 16-strong entry to have been received for the Tattersalls Acomb Stakes – one of three Group races to be run on the opening day of The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

The £100,000 contest was won by subsequent Irish 2,000 Guineas winner, Phoenix Of Spain, twelve months ago, while Dutch Connection landed the spoils in 2014 prior to finishing placed twice in Group 1 company.

Huraiz has a long way to go before he emulates the exploits of those high-class individuals, but Richard Hills – assistant racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum – issued a positive bulletin on their representative.

“I was quite impressed with him at Newcastle, coming across from a bad draw before winning alright,” Hills said.

“I don’t know how strong the race was and this will be a big step up from a maiden, but he stuck it out good and seven furlongs will definitely suit him.

“Mark has made some Group 1 entries for him – in the Middle Park and the Dewhurst – and his horses are flying at the moment.  If he’s keen to run, I can’t see why we won’t go to York.”

The famous blue and white silks of Sheikh Hamdan are set to be well represented across the four days of The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

Huraiz’s stable companion, Elarqam, has been supplemented for the Juddmonte International where he could face up to 11 rivals in the £1 million showpiece.

The potential opposition includes Enable and Crystal Ocean, who finished first and second respectively in a thrilling renewal of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot last month; although the John Gosden-trained Enable is being targeted at the Darley Yorkshire Oaks – run on the Thursday of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

Charlie Hills will saddle Sheikh Hamdan’s Battaash in the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday as the brilliant speedster seeks to supplement his electrifying victory in the Group 2 King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

On the same afternoon, the Roger Varian-trained Molatham could represent the same owner in The British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Maiden Stakes, the richest maiden in the land.

The son of Night Thunder finished a neck second on debut at Ascot and Hills reported: “He’s come on for that run. He’s a nice horse.”

The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival kicks off with The Sky Bet and Symphony Group Handicap Stakes at 1.55pm on Wednesday, while the first-day action also includes the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes.

The £170,000 Group 2, which is a traditional stepping stone to next month’s St Leger – the final Classic of the season – has attracted 11 confirmations.

They include six representatives from Aidan O’Brien’s powerful Ballydoyle stable, headlined by Epsom Derby fourth, Broome.

The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday 21 August until Saturday 24 August inclusively.

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