Stradivarius to call the tune with £1m repeat at York
Stradivarius set himself up for a £1million bonus with victory in the Matchbook Yorkshire Cup last year - and he can repeat the trick at York today.
John Gosden's charge emerged as the undisputed star of the staying division in 2018, ending the campaign unbeaten in five starts and with the Weatherbys bonus firmly in his back pocket to boot.
An impressive three-length scorer in this race first time up, his margins of victory were not quite so impressive at Ascot and Goodwood, but he again showed a love of the Knavesmire when winning the Lonsdale Cup to secure the £1million windfall.
Stradivarius was possibly just feeling the effects of those efforts when he made relatively hard work of a final win on Champions Day. But a lengthy winter break should have restored his energy levels, and he can tee up another bonus bid.
Gosden and Frankie Dettori can also strike gold with Twist 'N' Shake in the Oaks Farm Stables Fillies' Stakes.
Handled by Luca Cumani during her juvenile career, she switched to Gosden when that trainer retired and showed she had oodles of promise when beaten just a short head by Maqsad on her first start for the team. It was no surprise to see her canter home seven lengths clear at Nottingham on her most recent outing, and her Coronation Stakes entry perhaps shows the regard in which she is held.
This Listed heat looks a nice stepping stone to better things later in the campaign.
AINTREE: 5.35 Secret Escape, 6.10 Knockgraffon, 6.40 Solo Saxophone, 7.10 Theatre Legend, 7.45 Forever Field, 8.20 River Arrow, 8.50 Granny's Secret.
HAMILTON: 5.55 Perregrin, 6.25 Kripke, 7.00 Granite City Doc, 7.30 Charles Kingsley, 8.05 Shimmering Dawn, 8.35 Miss Sabina, 9.05 Duba Plains.
KILBEGGAN: 5.10 Our Nest Egg, 5.45 Coral Blue, 6.15 City Limits, 6.50 Lethal Steps, 7.20 Lord Schnapps, 7.55 Poormans Hill, 8.25 Faslane.
LEOPARDSTOWN: 5.25 Toronto, 6.00 Honor Oak, 6.30 Capri, 7.05 Royal Admiral, 7.35 Arthurian Fame, 8.10 Spanish Soprano, 8.40 Sam Langford.
NEWBURY: 1.35 Biometric, 2.10 Habub, 2.45 Heaven Forfend, 3.20 Buckland Boy, 3.55 After John, 4.25 Arabist, 4.55 Kiefer, 5.30 Lacan.
NEWMARKET: 2.00 Saikung, 2.35 Glenn Coco, 3.10 Harbour Breeze, 3.45 Hareeq, 4.15 Velorum, 4.45 Caradoc, 5.15 Major Valentine.
YORK: 1.50 Baileys In Bloom, 2.25 Twist 'N' Shake, 3.00 STRADIVARIUS (NAP), 3.35 Big Kitten, 4.05 Agincourt, 4.35 Ustath, 5.05 Laafy.
DOUBLE: Stradivarius and Twist 'N' Shake.