TAKE COVER, It’s The Nunthorpe Stakes!
Only the fastest around need apply for Friday’s Nunthorpe Stakes, where the mighty Sole Power will bid for back-to-back Group 1 wins.
Edward Lynam’s admirable 7yo doesn’t seem to know how to run a bad race, and looked as good as ever at Royal Ascot in June. He also knows his way up the straight here at York having won the 2010 Nunthorpe, and was third (beaten 1/2l) in last year’s renewal, finishing strongly.
The only concern is that favourites have a poor record in the Nunthorpe, as just one of the last 10 market leaders have triumphed – a fact that could point value seekers in the direction of Take Cover (6/1), who comes here on the back of a Group 2 win at Goodwood (5f, good to firm) – Extortionist (14/1) was 1/4l in second, with Moviesta (14/1) a further 1/4l in third.
David Griffith’s 7yo has shown improvement in winning his last two outings, including a Listed race here over this C&D prior to Goodwood. Having also won a C&D handicap here last October, he is now 2-2 at York and deserves a first crack at Group 1 level.
Mike De Kock’s, Shea Shea (7/1) does handle these conditions, as was proven when beaten just 1/2l into second during last year’s Nunthorpe, though he has a bit to prove having been over 7l behind Sole Power when 11th at Royal Ascot last time.
One who got closer to Sole Power in that Royal Ascot sprint was Kevin Ryan’s, Hot Streak (7/1), who was under 2l behind in third. He didn’t seem suited to 6f in the Group 1 July Cup last time (no extra late on), but as showed when winning a Listed race over this C&D at this very meeting 12 months ago, an easy 5f suits very well.
Extortionist was mentioned earlier as having got close to Take Cover at Goodwood, and previously won a Group 3 at Sandown. This 3yo is improving and could be the each-way bet of the race at 14/1, especially if the ground dries out.
That man, Aidan O’Brien, can never be ignored in a Group 1, and having won this race previously, his 3yo, Cougar Mountain (8/1), is respected following such a good effort when fifth (beaten 3l) in the July Cup. Considering that was just his second career outing, there has to be more to come, and it’s interesting that O’Brien drops him back in trip.
Of the last 10 Nunthorpe winners…
10 stepped up in class – those that ran in a Group 1 last time were 0-32
9 were non-favourites
9 were drawn in stalls 2-11
9 made the top six last time
8 were officially rated 103-111
8 ran over 5f last time (8%) – 6f last time 2-52 (4%)
8 ran at Goodwood (6) or Sandown (2) last time – be wary of those from Ascot (0-17), Curragh (0-14) and Newmarket July (0-22)
Females were best at 4-30 (13%) – males were 6-121 (5%)
The majority of recent Nunthorpe winners stepped up in class from last time out, which bodes well for the improving, Take Cover.
A quick 5f suits and a repeat of his last time out win at Goodwood should put him bang there.