Nunthope Stakes Runners: Battaash is the one to beat

Battaash broke the track record when winning last year's Nunthorpe Stakes.
Battaash broke the track record when winning last year's Nunthorpe Stakes.

We take an in-depth look at all the runners for Friday's Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes, which will take place on the third day of the York Ebor Festival...

1. Battaash (Jim Crowley/Charlie Hills)

The star of the sprinting division, who has been breathtaking in winning both the King's Stand Stakes and the King George Stakes so far this season. He's one of the fastest horses in training, and there are very few around who can deal with the six-year-old when he's in full flow. He's had issues with his consistency in the past, disappointing here on a couple of occasions, but he blew his hoodoo on the Knavesmire out of the water when breaking Dayjur's track record in this race last year, and if he's in anywhere near the same mood as he was at Goodwood last month, he will take all of the beating. 

2. Emaraaty Ana (Andrea Atzeni/Kevin Ryan)

Useful performer as a three-year-old, but has been regularly found out in higher levels, including when finishing down the field in both the English and the Irish Guineas. He's run only respectably in two starts at lower levels than this so far this term, and looks out of his depth here - particularly when you consider that this prominently-ridden type is highly unlikely to have things his own way up front. 

3. Moss Gill (Danny Tudhope/James Bethell)

Smart four-year-old who progressed through the handicap ranks last season, and made the breakthrough at pattern level when winning the listed City Walls Stakes over course and distance last month. He's an excellent record at York, winning twice and placing second twice in four starts, though this will demand more for all that he could be open to some improvement yet.

4. Ornate (Oisin Murphy/David Griffiths)

Useful handicapper, who only has one way of running, as a trailblazing pacemaker. He raised a few eyebrows when setting a scorching pace in last year's Stewards' Cup, and he's certainly capable of smart form - as he's shown when placing behind Battaash in back-to-back renewals of the King George. He's generally at his best at Goodwood, however, and the favourite rather has his measure speed wise.

5. A'ali (William Buick/Simon and Ed Crisford)

Consistently smart performer who's won four times at Group 2 level, including most recently in last month's Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh. Admittedly, his sole effort at this level to date was disappointing in the Prix Morny at Deauville last year, but he's entitled to another chance and there could certainly be more to come from him as a three-year-old. One of the bigger threats to Battaash as a hold-up performer if he can live with the early speed, but he'd need an awful lot more for win purposes and looks booked in for place money.

6. Art Power (Silvestre De Sousa/Tim Easterby)

Highly progressive three-year-old, who's made huge strides in three starts this season, most recently picking up a first Group success in the Group 3 Lacken Stakes at Naas last month. He appealed with one who had more to come from them yet with the style of his success that day, and he more than deserves his chance at this level. He still has a fair amount to find if he's to lower the colours of the favourite, but it isn't out of the realms of possibility, and he's certainly the chief threat.

7. Kurious (Harry Bentley/Henry Candy)

Smart performer as a three-year-old, and signed off that campaign with an excellent effort to win the Group 3 Coral Charge at Sandown that July. We didn't see her again until this year's King's Stand at Royal Ascot, and she was comfortably held in seventh behind Battaash that day. She's entitled to strip fitter for that, but she looks completely out of place at this level.

8. Que Amoro (Paul Mulrennan/Michael Dods)

Likeable four-year-old, who progressed through the handicap ranks last season, winning two big-field events over this kind of trip here. Picked up a first listed success on reappearance at Ayr in June, and performed with credit when third at the same level over course and distance last month. She clearly goes well here, but will need a lot more to feature.

Prediction:

Perhaps not quite the stellar renewal of the Nunthorpe we had anticipated a few weeks ago, and it is impossible to oppose Battaash as a consequence. The six-year-old has been in sublime form in his two starts so far this season, and bearing in  mind that he broke the track record when winning this race last year, it is very difficult to see anything other than another success. The improving Art Power could well give the favourite something to think about if improving for the step into Group 1 company, while the consistent A'ali looks best of the rest.

Nunthorpe Stakes
Battaash silk

Battaash

won
York Ebor Festival
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