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Elarqam seeks to get back on winning track on Knavesmire

Mark Johnston's Elarqam will line up in tomorrow's Sky Bet York Stakes.
Mark Johnston's Elarqam will line up in tomorrow's Sky Bet York Stakes.
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CLASSY three-year-old Elarqam takes on older horses as he bids to get back on track in the Sky Bet York Stakes on Knavesmire tomorrow.

The Mark Johnston-trained Frankel colt returns to action for the first time since he disappointed in the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh in May after finishing a creditable fourth in the English version at Newmarket.

The Middleham challenger now steps up in trip to an extended mile and a quarter and will face seven rivals.

They include Richard Fahey’s Forest Ranger, who was well beaten in the Eclipse after two Group successes at Newmarket and Chester.

Smart Call, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, takes on colts and geldings after winning in the Hopping Stakes at Newcastle, while the Michael Bell-trained Fabricate carries the colours – and hopes – of the Queen.

Meanwhile, Cracksman could yet take his chance in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes after featuring among eight declarations for tomorrow’s showpiece at Ascot.

Trainer John Gosden revealed earlier this week that his star colt would be “looking for thunderstorms” in Berkshire, with connections keen to avoid fast ground following his defeat in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.

While his participation is by no means certain at this stage, owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer felt it was worth declaring his three-year-old, who is set to be ridden by Rab Havlin, in the hope the rain arrives before the big race.

He said: “He’s going like a bomb at home and it would be fun to see him run, but I don’t think it would be fair on the public or the horse to run him on fast ground. Mr Gosden will walk the track and we’ll see what happens.”