York countdown: Mostly Cloudy to take on Stradivarius

Wed 10 Aug 2022

Fortune could favour the brave as Gemma Tutty prepares her ever-improving Mostly Cloudy to run at Group level for the first time in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes at York.

The three-year-old had not found the scoresheet in five starts before May this year – but his career has exploded into action since, winning five on the bounce and improving over 30lb on official figures.

He brought up his five-timer with a taking success at Ascot last month and that victory at the Berkshire track has now set the Harzand colt up for a crack at the two-mile Group Two prize on the Friday of the Ebor meeting.

His handler cannot wait to see how her stable star fares in a race which could feature the very best of the staying division and said: “It’s the plan to run at York.

“He’s been a sensation this year, the improvement in him has been remarkable, I’ve never seen a horse improve so much.

“He just keeps coming out of his races better and better and is taking his racing so well, both physically and mentally, so I’m really happy with him.

“It was always a very long-term goal (to run in this race) and he had to complete each task along the way. But we said if he won at Ascot then we would definitely consider York, so we need to stick with the plan, as nerve-racking as it is.”

Despite Mostly Cloudy stepping into the unknown in terms of class on the Knavesmire, Tutty is keen to take inspiration from the great Stradivarius’ own three-year-old career, as her charge appears set to lock horns with the now eight-year-old staying superstar.

“I’m not sure we’re going there expecting to win and he will probably be facing some serious competition,” she continued.

“But you only have to look at Stradivarius himself and his three-year-old profile, when he was pitched into Group Two level on the back of getting beat off a mark of 90 at Chester. They were brave with him and we’re hoping fortune favours the brave for us, too.”

Clearpoint on course for Gimcrack

Unbeaten juvenile Clearpoint is on course for the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes at York on Friday week.

The Richard Fahey-trained Ardad colt landed a six-furlong Ayr novice on debut and followed up over the minimum trip in similar company on the all-weather at Newcastle.

After overcoming a minor issue with a streaming nose, the Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum-owned Clearpoint is set for a step up to Group Two company.

Sheikh Rashid’s racing manager Bruce Raymond said: “He is going for the Gimcrack – he is on-song for that. He is in good shape.

“He had a dripping nose. It was nothing much, but I think Richard put him on a different bedding and it changed overnight. He has never missed work, but he didn’t want to run him while he had that.

“I saw him two and a half weeks ago and he worked well. Once he changed the bedding, he was absolutely perfect. Overnight.”

Raymond believes that Fahey, who landed the Gimcrack with Sands Of Mali in 2017, is not looking beyond the six-furlong contest with the colt, who holds entries in both the Mill Reef at Newbury and the Middle Park at Newmarket next month.

“He is in the Gimcrack, the Mill Reef and all those. If he wins the Gimcrack he’s half cracked it, hasn’t he?,” added Raymond.

“You could not do the Gimcrack and Prix Morny because they are too close together. I don’t know, but after the Gimcrack, he will probably go for the Middle Park. He has done enough after that. We’ll worry about that later – he has a sprinter’s pedigree.”

Royal Scotsman pencilled in to run

Connections of impressive dual Goodwood scorer Royal Scotsman are still to decide whether he heads to York or Deauville for his next start.

Owned by Fitri Hay and trained in partnership by Paul and Oliver Cole, the son of Gleneagles opened his account at the second time of asking in a six-furlong novice at the West Sussex track.

Third to the smart Bradsell in the Coventry at Royal Ascot, he gained Group Two compensation in the Richmond Stakes on his return to Goodwood last month.

However, connections are still undecided where he will next appear, with both the Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes at York and the Group One Prix Morny at Deauville under consideration.

“Both the Morny and the Gimcrack are pencilled in and we will discuss with the owners where we go,” said Oliver Cole.

“He is pencilled in for the Gimcrack, but there is a possibility he may run in the Morny. That decision will be made nearer the time.”

Plans for the stable’s promising three-year-old Jack Darcy, who caught the eye when fourth to New London in the mile-and-a-half Group Three Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, are clearer, however.

Cole added: “Jack Darcy is going to Deauville on Sunday – he runs over a mile and two (furlongs) Prix Nureyev.

“We brought him back a couple of furlongs because potentially he might be better at that trip. He is still a very exciting horse.

“There are horses (in the race) who are rated higher than him, but I think he will put up a good account and we will know where we are after Sunday.

“We do think he is a very decent animal and are really looking forward to the race.”

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