Marnane prepares York raid
Irish handler set for dual York raid
Last Updated: 14/08/12 1:10pm
Dandy Boy: Heads to York for the Nunthorpe
David Marnane is looking forward to saddling his star sprinters Dandy Boy and Nocturnal Affair in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York next week.
Dandy Boy gave his Irish handler a taste of Royal Ascot glory when winning the Wokingham Stakes in June but he failed to get competitive in a July Cup run in very testing conditions.
Marnane believes that dropping back to five furlongs at York is not ideal, but he is keen to find out whether the six-year-old is a genuine Group One performer.
"We've had a think about it and we've decided we're going to have a crack at the Nunthorpe with Dandy Boy, weather permitting," said Marnane.
"It is going to depend on there being decent ground at York, but there are a lack of opportunities for him and that's the way we're thinking at the moment.
"Five furlongs might be a little bit sharp for him, but it should give us a good picture of where we are and give us some idea about whether he's up to that level.
"We hoped to find out at Newmarket in the July Cup but with the way the ground went, we didn't really learn anything there."
His stablemate Nocturnal Affair is an interesting challenger for the prestigious Knavesmire prize.
The six-year-old ran some superb races at the Dubai Carnival at Meydan during the winter, winning a valuable handicap and signing off with a close-up sixth behind Ortensia in the Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup night.
He ran a fine second on his return from a near five month break in the Abergwaun Stakes at Tipperary on Friday night and Marnane feels his charge will be a better horse at York on August 24.
"I was thrilled with him and it was just what we wanted," said the trainer.
"I was really pleased with how he travelled throughout the race on ground he'd never run on before and I think he should improve a fair bit for the run. He seems to have tightened up and has come out of the race in good form.
"Ideally I wish we had another week before York, but he'll be fine and it's great for a small yard like us to have two really nice horses going for a race like the Nunthorpe."
Both Dandy Boy and Nocturnal Affair can be backed at 25-1 for the Nunthorpe.