Nunthorpe Stakes Tips: Proven Group 1 winner to down favourites at York

Which sprinter can follow in the footsteps of Battaash at York
Which sprinter can follow in the footsteps of Battaash at York

There's a fascinating renewal of the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York on Friday afternoon, as some fast improving youngsters take on a host of proven top-class speedsters, and our man Steve Chambers previews the feature race of the day on day three of the Ebor Festival here and picks out a value play against the fancied runners....

James Tate's Royal Aclaim has been a real emerging force in the sprinting division this season, but the three-year-old filly will need to continue on an upward curve if she is to reign supreme in the Nunthorpe Stakes. Unbeaten in her three starts, the daughter of Aclaim won impressively at Bath in May on only her second start, but it was the manner in which she scooted to a stunning two-length victory in the Listed City Walls Stakes at York last time out that has earned her quotes of 13/8 favourite for Friday's contest.

A real speedball, who has shaped like she could be a real top notch Group performer, Royal Aclaim will receive weight from her older rivals here, but this is a huge step up in class, and while she has packs of potential and there maybe limited proven top-class rivals lining up here, she will need to be an absolute sensational sprinter to win this event on only her fourth start, and she could be worth taking on at paltry odds.

Arguably, an even more fascinating runner is the Richard Fahey-trained The Platinum Queen, who is the 3/1 second favourite, and she will look to be the first two-year-old since the legendary Kingsgate Native in 2007 to win the Nunthorpe as a juvenile, and she is hugely exciting. Hampered in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot, she bounced back to form with a win at York, before she went on to win the Alice Keppel at Goodwood in fine style. Supplemented for this event, Fahey must fancy that she can run a huge race off a featherweight of 8st 2lbs, but taking on her elders she will face a massive assignment, and it's going to be tough.

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John Quinn's Highfield Princess has been one of the star sprinters of the season as having won the Group 2 Duke Of York Stakes back in May at York, she then went on to finish a decent sixth in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes before heading over to France and romping to glory in the Prix Maurice De Gheest. An eye-catching 10/1 chance for this event, the five-year-old mare is a class act, but the drop back to five furlongs could well hinder her chances, and she may just lack the pace of some her rivals.

A real 5f specialist is Khaadem, who built on a fine win in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket by storming to victory in the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, and at 11/1 will appeal to many. However, the Charlie Hills-trained gelding will need to improve again stepping up to the highest level and she may just lack the class of some of his rivals.

One contender with a Group 1 win on his CV is Kevin Ryan's EMARAATY ANA, who is an attractive 16/1 to land this prize and the former Sprint Cup winner at Haydock has to be considered if at his best. He was a sparkling runner-up to Winter Power in this race 12 months, before he went on to Group 1 glory at Haydock Park in the Sprint Cup, and while's not tasted victory since he shaped like he could be reaching boiling point this season. Unplaced in the Platinum Jubilee, he improved significantly when sixth in the July Cup at Newmarket, and with a drop back to five furlongs not likely to trouble him then he could well be a shock winner of this contest, as he's likely to be prominent from the start and he could well remain in the front in the closing stages.

Of the others, Winter Power is back for another crack, but the 20/1 chance has been struggling for form of late and can be ignored, while the likes of Flotus, Lazuli and Raasel add more depth to the contest, but that trio don't strike out as Group 1 sprinters.

Nunthorpe Stakes
Emaraaty Ana silk

Emaraaty Ana (EW)

placed
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