He’s made no secret of his desire to win the historic handicap and Hamish, owned by his father Brian, appears to be the most fancied of the quartet after winning the 2019 Melrose Stakes at York.
But Tom Marquand’s mount has been off the track since finishing fourth in the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer and the gelding’s involvement depends on significant rainfall beforehand,
“He needs rain and quite a bit of it, so I don’t know if he’ll get it,” said Newmarket-based Haggas. “He’s a smart horse and we’ve had this in mind for a while, so it would be nice to have a go, but we’ll see.”
Hamish’s stablemate Ilaraab has proven his liking for the York track already, having won there twice to date.
The Ebor represents a step up in trip for the colt, but Haggas is confident that he possesses the stamina necessary to succeed. “He’s in good shape and he’s ready to go,” the trainer said.
“I think it looks like he’ll get the trip no problem. He’s got a lot of weight (9st 11lb), but he’s a good horse and I think he prefers going left-handed.”
Roberto Escobarr is one of two Haggas entrants owned by Hussain Alabbas Lootah, the other being his full-brother Pablo Escobarr.
“Roberto stays well and likes fast ground. He should run well. He’s a very genuine, game horse,” Haggas added. “Pablo is Pablo. He ran a good race last weekend (third in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes) and enjoys his racing. He’s here hoping for the best.”
Meanwhile Jim Goldie is confident the burden of top-weight will not prevent Euchen Glen from putting up a bold bid.
A former winner of the John Smith’s Cup on the Knavesmire, the popular veteran returns to the track having enjoyed another tremendous campaign – landing a pair of big-race victories at Sandown with wins in the Brigadier Gerard and Gala Stakes.
The eight-year-old failed to fire in a soft ground Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock a fortnight ago, but while he must carry 10st 2lb and will break from stall one in this £500,000 feature, Goldie feels it would be dangerous to leave him out of calculations.
“He’s in grand order,” said the Scottish trainer. “It’s a mighty task carrying that weight, but Red Rum carried 12st in the Grand National, so big weights can be carried.
“He’s won a John Smith’s Cup, so he obviously acts at York. Some might say being drawn one is a negative, but we’ll be going the shortest road. I would rather be one than 22, anyway. We’ve got a good jockey (Paul Mulrennan) who knows him well so it will be interesting.”
Meanwhile the Sky Bet City of York Stakes sees Safe Voyage attempt to win successive renewals for Malton trianer John Quinn and jockey Jason Hart.
Quinn also saddles Highfield Princess in this seven furlong race that, on past showings, deserves to be elevated to Group One status.