The entries for the early closing Group Two contests at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival are strong
Last Updated: 02/07/14 4:49pm
The entries for the early closing Group Two contests at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival are strong with leading thoroughbreds from the United States, the United Kingdom, continental Europe and Ireland all entered.
The opening day of the Festival on Wednesday, August 20 sees the Neptune Investment Management Great Voltigeur Stakes, a Group Two contest that has already produced thirteen winners of the final classic, the Ladbrokes St Leger.
So it is no surprise that seven out the top ten in the betting markets are amongst the forty-eight strong entry; including ante-post favourite, Romsdal, trained by John Gosden. The same yard sent out Lucarno in 2007 when the colt achieved the York-Doncaster double.
Gosden could also be represented by Royal Ascot winner Eagle Top and Forever Now who are both owned by Lady Bamford, and it has been suggested the former could be supplemented for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on July 26.
Lady Bamford's racing manager Hugo Lascelles said: "We're waiting to see what happens with Eagle Top. The King George has been mooted and he has been given an entry in the Voltigeur. We'll wait and see, but he won't be running in the Leger.
"Forever Now might run at Newmarket next week in the Bahrain Trophy, but he could end up running at York."
International opposition may come from Sirius, trained in Germany by Andreas Lowe; whilst Hartnell offers a locally trained contender coming out of Mark Johnston’s Middleham base.
Hartnell is one of three Royal Ascot winners who could line up with Cannock Chase also potentially chasing a share of £150,000 in prize money.
Aidan O'Brien has a handful of potential runners and Granddukeoftuscany could be one, as the trainer said after his facile recent win at Tipperary: "We'll train him for the Great Voltigeur and he'll get a rest after this."
Promising John Oxx-trained colt Streetcar To Stars would be another to note. Beaten a nose in a Listed race on just his second racecourse outing, the son of Sea The Stars had no trouble losing his maiden tag at the Curragh last week and is expected to get a Leger entry.