White Rose launches strong defence in Acomb Stakes

Quartet of winners bid to keep Group Three at home

  • Tuesday 20 August
  • News
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There is a strong Yorkshire-based challenge for the first Group race of the Ebor meeting at York – the Tattersalls Acomb Stakes – with four previous winners hailing from the county.

John Quinn’s Cobra Eye, Mark Johnston’s Kingbrook, Kevin Ryan’s aptly-named Yorkshire Gold and Richard Fahey’s Valdermoro are all carrying big hopes for the home brigade into the Group Three.

Ryan’s Syphax and Tim Easterby’s Wells Farhh Go won the race back-to-back for Yorkshire in 2016 and 2017 – but this year’s race looks well above average, with Joseph and Aidan O’Brien represented as well as a strong contenders from down south.

Cobra Eye won at Glorious Goodwood over six furlongs, and Quinn has maintained the partnership with Frankie Dettori.

“He battled on and kept going well at Goodwood,” said the trainer.

“That was over six furlongs, but we feel the extra trip will be well within his compass.

“Obviously it’s a good race but he’s in good form and he’s certainly entitled to be there.

“We’ve managed to get two runs into him, which is a bonus. The conditions of this race mean you are never going to face many who have had loads of runs -but having two runs instead of one can only help.

“We’re very happy with him, so we’ll see how he gets on.”

Valdermoro has American Grade One winners in his pedigree. Fahey has had a soft spot for him for some time – and he bolted up last time out at Doncaster.

“He’s a horse we’ve always thought a lot of,” said the Malton handler.

“It’s obviously a big step up for him – but we’ll see what happens.

“His form looks very strong. The horse who beat him first time (Mystery Power) went and won a Group Two, but he’s got to step up again now.

“We’re happy with him. He’s in great order, so we’ll just have to see if he’s up to this now.”

Kingbrook showed a typical gritty attitude to get off the mark at Ascot last month – and the Kingman colt is likely to be doing all his best work at the finish.

Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father, said: “He’s a nice horse, and I was impressed with him at Ascot last time because he looked beaten and then battled back and hit the line strong.

“If there was a suitable race over a mile this week, I’m sure he’d be running in that – because I think he is ready to step up in trip – but at least it’s seven furlongs on a galloping track, as he is a big horse.

“With the way the conditions of the race are – you can’t have won before a certain date (July 11) – he was our obvious candidate for it.”

The two Irish runners, Vitalogy and Harpocrates, have met once before – with the former, Joseph O’Brien’s charge, coming out on top on his debut.

Another who arrives off the back of just one run and a win is Charlie Hills’ Persuasion – having taken the same Goodwood maiden as the same stable’s subsequent 2014 winner of the race, Dutch Connection.

Hills was also successful 12 months ago with Phoenix Of Spain, who went on to win the Irish Guineas earlier this year.

William Haggas may train in Newmarket but is a proud Yorkshireman, hailing from Skipton, and he runs Ethic.

Tom Dascombe’s Morisco and George Margarson’s Ropey Guest complete the field.

White Rose launches strong defence in Acomb Stakes
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