Destination York as Sea The Lion has sights on Ebor

Connections are finalising big race plans for York.
Connections are finalising big race plans for York.
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SEA The Lion is on course to make his second trip to York for the John Smith’s Silver Cup on Saturday before hopefully returning to the Knavesmire for another crack at the Sky Bet Ebor next month.

Jarlath Fahey’s stayer was third in Europe’s richest handicap last summer and the first £1m running of the famous race is again on the cards.

The eight-year-old had his first start since taking minor honours behind Muntahaa when only beaten a neck by War Diary under a big weight at the Curragh recently.

He came through his final exercise with flying colours on Tuesday to confirm his trip across the Irish Sea this weekend for the Group Three contest over a mile and three quarters.

“He’s done his last piece of work this morning and everything is fine. The plan is to go to York on Saturday, as long as the ground is OK, and Ronan Whelan will ride him,” said County Kildare-based Fahey.

“He’s in good form and we’re looking forward to going across and having a go. We’re short of races for him in Ireland over his trip and his ground, so we always knew we’d be looking to bring him back to England to get a couple of runs into him. This fits in nicely and we’ll see how he goes and make a plan for the Ebor afterwards. We’re gearing towards it at the moment.”

Meanwhile Bangkok is likely to head north for the Sky Bet York Stakes next after his return to form at Royal Ascot.

Andrew Balding’s colt won a Derby trial at Sandown, but nothing went right for him at Epsom and he beat only one horse home.

However, he bounced back to something like his best at Ascot when second to Japan in the King Edward VII Stakes and he will now drop in trip.

“The most probable target for Bangkok is the Sky Bet York Stakes over 10 furlongs, which we think is his best trip – although I’m sure he gets a mile and a half,” said Alistair Donald, bloodstock manager for King Power Racing.

“He’s got a good turn of foot, so I think he’ll be better at 10 furlongs. As long as the ground isn’t very soft, he’ll be fine – he’s a good mover, so we’d be nervous about trying him on very soft ground.

“I think the Sky Bet looks the perfect race for him – but we could come up against the likes of Sangarius and Regal Reality, horses like that. He ran a very good race at Ascot, where I think he was just outstayed by Japan who looks very good, whereas we are a 10-furlong horse.”

Masar, the 2018 Epsom Derby victor, will face five rivals in the Princess of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket tomorrow.

The New Approach colt became the first horse to carry the royal blue silks of Godolphin to victory in the premier Classic at Epsom last season, but a leg injury kept him off the track for the remainder of the campaign.

Charlie Appleby’s charge made his long-awaited return to action in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascotand was far from disgraced in finishing fifth.