York Races,Friday 20th August 2021, Ebor Festival, Nunthorpe Day

Winter Strikes In Summer For Easterby

It’s the most wonderful time of the year when the Ebor Festival comes around on the flat at York and for the combination of King Power Racing along with trainer Tim Easterby and jockey Silvestre de Sousa they were celebrating having a merry little summer as Winter Power won Friday’s Nunthorpe Stakes over five furlongs as opposed to 2000 Miles in mightily impressive style.

This lovely looking 3yo filly has already tasted victory twice on the Knavesmire this season and came here off the back of a confidence boosting win in the City Wall Stakes last month after not appearing to handle the Ascot undulations at the Royal meeting, connections now have an automatic invite to take part in the Breeders’ Cup turf sprint at Del Mar in November but it might be a case that despite everyone connected with the horse wishing it could be the Nunthorpe everyday they more than likely will be going to Longchamp in October instead.

Favourite Golden Pal from American trainer Wesley Ward did set out to blast it from the gate but couldn’t keep up the straight line dash as opposed to a turning five furlongs, he’ll be better suited back to a race like that, of the other placed horses, Suesa ran nicely from off the pace but surprisingly has no entrance in the Haydock Sprint next month but Dragon Symbol does and he could be hard to peg back should he turn up.

Stradivarius Wins Epic Lonsdale

For many the best result and most emotional win of the whole festival came in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup as the seven year old warrior Stradivarius under Frankie Dettori found extra reserves to see off the fight from young pretender to the throne Spanish Mission in a battle royale that would have left even the hardest of people in tears of joy.

After avoiding Goodwood due to the heavy going Stradivarius was far happier on the more faster surface here at York and in a race which had a decent pace from the outset both Stradivarius and Spanish Mission were in battle from about two and a half furlongs out as they went by longtime leader The Grand Visir very easily, from then both William Buick and Frankie Dettori chucked everything at their respective mounts, Spanish Mission just led by a head in the last furlong and looked like causing the upset but Stradivarius dug in deep and just got up where it mattered to make it five from five at York.

Stradivarius still showed that the old magic is still evident and the enthusiasm for racing isn’t gone, Ascot in October will be the main target after last year’s French invasion didn’t pay off, wether he takes in the Doncaster Cup is another thing but he may be back up the A1 all being well unless he heads straight to Ascot given their is no other race suited to him apart from the Irish St Leger at the Curragh during Irish Champions Weekend.

The Yorkshire faithful really love this old horse and it showed when he came back in to a heroes reception, Frankie did the flying dismount to the cheers of everyone to really raise the roof

Lusail Gimcrack Glory

Somebody from Al Shaqab racing will be dispatched to York on December 14th for their tea and to give the traditional Gimcrack speech at the 250th Dinner after Lusail won the 2021 running of the Gimcrack Stakes in fine style.

Already a black type winner scoring in the July Stakes at the July Festival this summer he is clearly thriving and looks likely to be heading for one of the big autumn races at Newmarket with the Middle Park possibly being the number one target, his trainer Richard Hannon will be dreaming of Guineas glory during the winter months and should stay a mile in time although maybe the sprinting division might be where his future will lie.

Best of the rest

One of the most eye-catching performances came in the very final race of the afternoon, a very competitive 0-105 rated handicap over a mile that saw Ryan Moore land his only win of the afternoon on the John Gosden trained Rifleman in the Coolmore colours.

Going in here off 95 this gelding holds an entry in next months Cambridgeshire at Newmarket where he will definitely make his presence felt if allowed to take his chance, he wasn’t stopping at the end and showed that big fields hold no fear for him and the extra furlong will pose no problem at all.

A real high quality day of equine action on the Knavesmire then with races that’ll live long in the memory of those who attended.

On the emotional front Stradivarius was the one who stole the show but for the all that came over from America, France, and the big training areas all over the UK you can always be sure that the training fraternity of Yorkshire will so everything in their power to keep a Group 1 from being taken out of the county and with Winter Power they made sure it stayed that way.

Till next time, Goodbye

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