Moviesta will hope to avoid knocks in Stakes’ opening scene

William Derby.William Derby.
William Derby.
FOOTBALL manager Harry Redknapp will be hoping that his sprinter Moviesta does not fluff his lines in the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes, today’s chief supporting race to the Musidora.

This is the horse which was fancied to win the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at last August’s Ebor meeting before suffering a knock at the start that put paid to his chances.

However, last year’s Glorious Goodwood winner pleased Hambleton trainer Bryan Smart by finishing a creditable fifth on his comeback at Newmarket’s Guineas meeting and heads to Knavesmire for this Group Two test over six furlongs in good heart.

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The concern, as with so many runners this week, is the rain-softened ground conditions which are likely to take their toll.

Redknapp will be looking for a memorable double after his QPR side qualified for the Championship play-off final.

“He’s in good order and I am very happy with the horse,” said Smart.

“He got knocked at the start of the Nunthorpe and was still only beaten by six lengths.

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“Nobody knows what the ground is going to be like, that’s the only thing.

“We’ve had some serious rain here, but it’s the same for everybody. I think whatever handles the surface the best will probably win.”

Smart’s near neighbour Kevin Ryan saddles Astaire, last year’s Gimcrack winner, while Scottish trainer Jim Goldie is double-handed with the ultra-consistent Jack Dexter and stablemate Hawkeyethenoo.

York chief executive William Derby will be desperately hoping that the forecast dry spell does materialise and does not see the Dante festival, with record prize money of £1m and brand new stabling facilities for horses, overshadowed by a glut of non-runners.

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He said the going on Knavesmire yesterday afternoon was soft, and good to soft in places, with high pressure due to build throughout the week.

This will be crucial after a select field of six was declared for tomorrow’s Betfred Dante Stakes, the most influential of Epsom Derby trials.

The field is headed by Godolphin’s True Story and Peter Chapple-Hyam’s unexposed Arod – but the participation of both is dependent on the ground drying out.

“I think that True Story will be fine on good to soft ground, but we wouldn’t want the going to be too soft for him,” said trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

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Estimate faces a “crucial” three weeks if she is to be able to defend her Ascot Gold Cup crown for The Queen next month.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained five-year-old has not been seen since finishing only seventh back at Ascot on Champions Day, albeit only beaten three lengths, but faces a race against time if she is to make it back for the Royal meeting.

“She had a slow start this spring so she’s been a bit off the pace and behind target a little bit,” said John Warren, The Queen’s racing manager.

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