Familiar ground could help Lancelot secure York prize

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DEAN Ivory is eyeing another big sprint prize on Saturday with Lancelot Du Lac – if the improving three-year-old makes the cut for the Coral Sprint Trophy at York.

Ivory celebrated the biggest success of his career at Ascot last weekend when Tropics sauntered his way to victory in the Group Three Bengough Stakes, following up on his Sky Bet Stakes win on the Knavesmire in late July.

Lancelot Du Lac may not have reached those heights yet but has won three times already this season, including twice at York.

Ivory won the race two years ago with Sirius Prospect.

“I hope he gets in first, I see he’s joint-favourite with some,” he said. “He has progressed all season and if he runs he has to have a big chance, I think he’ll run well.

“I’m not sure why we tend to do well with sprinters, it might be the way we train them, but I think this lad might end up back over seven furlongs at this stage. He’s just a bit weak at the end over seven still.

“My horses tend to love York, I’ve never worked out why but they all run well there. He likes a lot of pace in his races which he should get in this. After this we’ll look at running in the Wentworth at Doncaster.”

Meanwhile, Malton-based trainer John Quinn will take a five-strong team to contest tomorrow’s intriguing card on the Knavesmire.

Leading the way is the Lincoln winner Levitate, who tackles the feature This Isn’t ‘The Stan James Champion Hurdle’ Handicap over a mile with £25,000 on offer.

Quinn said: “Levitate is in very good form.

“He went up 5lb to 98 for winning at Ayr last time but he has run well at York. The softer the ground the better – but he seems very well in himself.”

Talented apprentice Oisin Murphy, successful aboard Levitate at Ayr, will once again take the ride.

One of the riding finds of the season, the 5lb claimer will ride Quinn’s Makin The Rules, runner-up on both of his last two starts, in the opener.

Quinn said: “Makin The Rules is a nice horse who was second at York and was then touched off at the Western meeting at Ayr. He seems in good form and the ground will be fine for him.”

Another apprentice Jason Hart, claiming 3lb and leading the race to be this year’s top young rider, will be aboard the Quinn-trained Kashmir Peak in the Parsonage Hotel and Cloisters Spa handicap.

Quinn said: “The mile-and-a-half will suit Kashmir Peak, he is in good fettle and will have a good claimer on him.”

Bold Captain and Evanescent complete the trainer’s raiding party.

The unraced Hydrogen, who cost connections 2,500,000 guineas, remains among the possibles for the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster on October 26.

After meeting with an early setback the Galileo colt returned to training with Peter Chapple-Hyam and is reportedly nearing what will be an eagerly-awaited debut run.

Aidan O’Brien has a very strong hand with the likes of Beresford Stakes winner Geoffrey Chaucer, Great White Eagle and War Command still among his team.

Kevin Ryan’s The Grey Gatsby is still engaged.

St Leger-winning jockey Joseph O’Brien broke a record previously held by Mick Kinane when riding his 116th winner of the Flat season in Ireland on Marvellous, trained by his father, Aidan, at Navan.

Kinane set the impressive total of 115 in 1993, the year O’Brien was born.

As O’Brien’s weight prevents him from riding anything under 9st, his father feels his achievement is even more meritorious.

“Everyone knows it’s not easy for him to do 9st and it’s a great achievement to break the record,” said O’Brien senior.

Former Epsom Derby-winning jockey Martin Dwyer has spoken of his relief after a disciplinary panel at the British Horseracing Authority decided not to reciprocate the 56-day ban he received in India earlier this year. At one point he was facing a suspension of eight months.

The BHA have given the go-ahead for a £1m raceday on the all-weather at Lingfield on Good Friday next year – even though objectors have accused the track’s owners, Arena Racing Group, of not doing enough to meet prize money obligations throughout the winter.