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Johnston is Geared up for Dante success at York


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Gear Up can give Mark Johnston back-to-back victories in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York

Gear Up can give Mark Johnston back-to-back victories in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York

Gear Up can give Mark Johnston back-to-back victories in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York

Gear Up can give Mark Johnston back-to-back victories in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York.

The Middleham handler saddled Thunderous to take the Group Two event last term, when its revised July date actually fell after the Derby, negating its place as a Classic trial.

Gear Up is still in the Epsom mix at this stage though, and victory here would see his price for next month’s feature tumble.

Winner of three of his four starts as a juvenile, Gear Up was something of a surprise winner of the Acomb Stakes last August, showing plenty of determination to grab Spycatcher in the closing stages.

He possibly did not enjoy the Newmarket undulations when beaten in the Royal Lodge, but Gear Up got back on the winning trail in the best possible style in the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud.

Derby favourite Bolshoi Ballet was only fifth that day while previous top-level scorer Tiger Tanaka was fourth so the form has some weight, although it was a messy race on deep ground.

Gear Up had previously shown form on quicker going so he seems versatile in that respect and having won over 10 furlongs that day, this trip holds no fears.

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Acklam Express can kick off his European campaign in style in the British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes.

A Listed winner over the same five furlongs he faces here in August, Acklam Express made his winter trip to Dubai pay dividends with three fine placed efforts against older horses at Meydan.

After a Group Two second and a Group Three third, Nigel Tinkler’s charge had to be content with another third when pitched into Group One company in the Al Quoz Sprint over six furlongs.

He looked to be on the wrong side at Meydan on that occasion, so his effort was all the more laudable and this can prove a perfect springboard to his sprint campaign.

Queen Power demonstrated her well-being with a fine effort at Newmarket earlier this month and she can make her race fitness tell with a deserved victory in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes.

Sir Michael Stoute’s charge has not actually won a race since lifting a Newbury Listed heat two years ago, but a string of consistent efforts in this kind of company show she is still a force to be reckoned with.

Wahraan and Sunrise Valley can ensure it is a very good day for Stoute with wins in their respective heats at Salisbury and Newmarket.

Sunrise Valley made a fine debut when second against the colts in a novice event at Yarmouth and the Betfair Exchange Maiden Fillies’ Stakes at Headquarters looks a fine opportunity for her.

SELECTIONS:

CLONMEL: 4.05 Raven Rule, 4.35 The Cathal Don, 5.10 Match My Fire, 5.45 Sevenna Star, 6.20 Different Beat, 6.55 Shantou Lucky, 7.30 Oneknightmoreihope, 8.00 Iron Woman.

FONTWELL: 4.45 Light In The Sky, 5.20 Eglantine Du Seuil, 5.55 Global Agreement, 6.30 Shantou Flyer, 7.05 Made For You, 7.40 Shareef Star, 8.10 Oscars Reign.

NEWMARKET: 5.00 Turandot, 5.30 Three Dons, 6.05 Sunrise Valley, 6.40 Kaloor, 7.15 Magical Land, 7.50 Top Brass, 8.20 Anghaam.

PERTH: 1.00 Fever Roque, 1.30 Khanmurjan, 2.00 Fitzroy, 2.30 Celtic Flames, 3.00 Roxboro Road, 3.30 Lopito, 4.00 Casimir Du Clos, 4.30 Baby Jane.

SALIBURY: 1.15 Jastar, 1.50 Military Mission, 2.25 Wahraan, 2.55 Betty Crean LA, 3.25 Dreambird, 3.55 Soapy Stevens, 4.25 Joy Choi, 4.55 Parikarma.

YORK: 1.40 Copper Knight, 2.10 Queen Power, 2.40 Matthew Flinders, 3.10 GEAR UP (NAP), 3.40 Acklam Express, 4.15 Yaahobby, 4.50 Raymond.

DOUBLE: Gear up and Acklam Express (both York).


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