Multidimensional will be confirmed at today's acceptance stage as a likely runner in next Tuesday's £550,00 Juddmonte International Stakes, the richest race ever staged at York. The five-year-old, trained by Henry Cecil, won the Lancaster Stakes on heavy ground at Haydock on Saturday – his first success since landing a conditions event at Newbury in September.
"Multidimensional appears to be in fine fettle," said Alan Cooper, racing manager to owners the Niarchos family. Saturday's win was very pleasing. He'll be confirmed tomorrow and then we don't have to decide definitely until the final declaration stage on Sunday."
Not surprisingly, Multidimensional, whose dam finished second in the 2001 Yorkshire Oaks, will be taking on a formidable team from the Aidan O'Brien yard. Ballydoyle dominate the field with 11 entries and Duke Of Marmalade, O'Brien's likely flagbearer, is a best-priced 4-6 to collect the 18th Group One prize of the season for his trainer.
The current going at York is soft and, as there is rain forecast for the next five days, Multidimensional looks a tempting alternative at 25-1 as he is likely to have his favoured cut in the ground and Cecil won the race with Wollow (1976) and Royal Anthem (1999).
However, no trainer boasts a better record than Cecil's neighbour, Sir Michael Stoute who has recorded five successes – the latest with Notnowcato in 2006. Stoute has entered course winner Promising Leader, Linngari and Rob Roy.
With record prize money of over £2.7m, an increase of over £350,000 on last year, the Ebor meeting has been extended to four days, a fitting finale to the 2008 Knavesmire season.
Peter-Chapple-Hyam will decide tomorrow whether to supplement Winker Watson for Sunday's Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest over six-and-a-half furlongs at Deauville. The one-time Classic hope showed he retains all his ability when fourth to Henrythenavigator in the Sussex Stakes over a mile at Goodwoodi when weakening inside the final 150 yards. Chapple-Hyam said: "I was delighted with his run in the Sussex Stakes but Ryan Moore felt he just didn't quite get home. He seems to have come out of his race fine and Roy Carter, who rides him at home, says the horse has improved again. We are considering supplementing him on Thursday for this Sunday's Prix Maurice de Gheest but will look at the ground. We wouldn't want it to be soft over there."
At Lingfield yesterday Kirsty Milczarek became only the fifth female jockey, along with Alex Greaves, Emma O'Gorman, Lisa Jones and Hayley Turner, to ride out her claim with her 95th success on Ruby Tallulah.
Young jump jockeys have been given their own race on next year's totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup day. A new event, the Conditionals' Hurdle, will be added to the card for the first time in March. Other changes to the 2009 Festival, from 10 to 13 March, include a first-race time of 1.30pm each day and the feature being the fourth race with a 3.20pm start.
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