Promise of rain is pointing Clever Cookie towards York

Clever Cookie.
Clever Cookie.
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PETER Niven has not yet ruled out running stable star Clever Cookie in Friday’s Betway Yorkshire Cup at York.

Clever Cookie was an easy winner of the Ormonde Stakes on his seasonal reappearance at Chester last week.

Soft ground appears to hold the key to the chances of this dual-purpose horse who won last year’s Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr.

He is in the Ascot Gold Cup, but with soft ground at the Royal meeting a rarity these days, Niven may take his chance again with conditions more in his favour this week.

“I haven’t definitely ruled it out yet, I’ll sit on him in the morning,” said the Malton-based trainer.

“It’s only seven days between the races and while I know he must have had a race, he was hardly blowing after it.

“What we do know is that he loves it at York and if it was soft, a few of the others might not run.

“There’s a bit of rain due on Thursday so all that will need to be taken into account.”

Despite the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes, the day-one highlight of York’s Dante meeting, having a six-figure prize fund for the first time in the illustrious race’s history, tomorrow’s trial for the Epsom Oaks has only attracted five runners.

The headline act is the Aidan O’Brien-trained Together Forever, while John Gosden’s impressive Newbury scorer Star Of Seville – also victorious at Doncaster last autumn – is a highly-regarded runner for Lady Bamford. Local hopes rest with Richard Fahey’s La Dorotea.

With the 2015 Flat season still to fire, York will be hoping tomorrow’s feature – and Thursday’s Betfred Dante Stakes where several horses will put their Epsom Derby credentials on the line – will see new stars emerge.

They include John Gosden’s Jack Hobbs who is named after the totemic cricketer and who is set to be ridden by the evergreen Frankie Dettori.

The Italian has become the former champion trainer’s ‘go to’ rider after William Buick was snapped up by Godolphin.

Meanwhile, Kevin Ryan’s highly popular Astaire will carry Yorkshire hopes in tomorrow’s Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes, the meeting’s feature race for sprinters.

The 2008 Grand National-winning rider Timmy Murphy claimed his first winner as a fully-fledged Flat jockey aboard Houdini at Wolverhampton.