The departure of the overseas elite, who have in recent years made a habit of humbling the indigenous sprinters in early summer, leaves a slightly incestuous feel to the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York today. But the standard remains high. The last two winners, Borderlescott and Kingsgate Native, are back after respectively approaching and retrieving their best at Goodwood last time.
Borderlescott was somewhat stranded by the draw that day, but kept on in typically spirited fashion for fourth. Even so, he will do well to reverse form with Kingsgate Native, who responded to more patient tactics than in the past by showing a really striking turn of foot. There must be a possibility that his failure as a stallion – and unexpected reprieve as a racehorse – has allowed Kingsgate Native (2.30) to find improvement commensurate with physical maturity.
It was as a precocious youngster, of course, that he won this prize two years ago, in the process confirming that the weight-for-age scale is pretty generous to two-year-olds. As such Radiohead is a fascinating candidate after his electrifying success in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, but the form looks fairly porous in this context. It may also be that this simmering colt was productively lit up when barged by a rival just as the race took shape. He certainly took off like a scalded cat, and has looked pretty volatile all round.
Braveheart Move is the obvious one in the opener, looking ready for the step up in trip when earning a penalty at Pontefract on Sunday. But the bookmakers are also anticipating due improvement, and the extra distance looks just as certain to suit the value alternative in Cosmic Sun (1.45). He ran fourth in the handicap Braveheart Move was supposed to win at Goodwood but, while the favourite was clearly not himself that day, nor did Cosmic Sun seem remotely at home on the twists and undulations of that track.
Spring Of Fame (2.15) is really flourishing now after taking a while to settle into his new stable, which also has prospects with Huntdown (2.50).Reuse content