Horse Racing Tips

Duke of York Stakes: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

York
The Duke of York Stakes takes place at York on Wednesday

"...that effort is easy to excuse, and she's the one to beat if close to her peak form on reappearance..."

Timeform on Highfield Princess

Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide and 1-2-3 verdict for the Duke of York Stakes at York on Wednesday.

Duke of York Stakes
15:00 York, Wednesday
Live on ITV4

1. Highfield Princess (John Quinn/Jason Hart)
High-class mare who won five times (including this races) in a brilliant 2022 campaign, with three of them coming at Group 1 level, including the Nunthorpe at this venue. She produced a lesser effort in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland on her final start, though that effort is easy to excuse, and she's the one to beat if close to her peak form on reappearance.

2. Annaf (Michael Appleby/Tom Marquand)
Developed into a smart performer on the all-weather earlier this year, completing a hat-trick in listed company at Lingfield in February. Ran up to form when half a length second to Diligent Harry at Newcastle when last seen in April, but the big question is whether he can transfer that level of form to turf.

3. Art Power (Tim Easterby/David Allan)
Returned to his best form when landing the Group 3 Renaissance Stakes for a second successive year at the Curragh in September, but he wasn't quite in same form towards the end last year, and he has needed the run on his seasonal reappearance the last two years.

4. Commanche Falls (Michael Dods/Connor Beasley)
Enjoyed a cracking 2022, landing the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood for a second year running and also finished second in the Ayr Gold Cup. All the sharper for his reappearance when narrowly denied in Newmarket Group 3 last month (just ahead of Creative Force) though that rival reversed the form at Haydock on Saturday.

5. Creative Force (Charlie Appleby/William Buick)
Winner of the 2021 Champions Sprint at Ascot and placed three times at Group 1 level in 2022. Finished three quarters of a length behind Commanche Falls when third in Newmarket Group 3 on reappearance but met that rival on better terms at Haydock on Saturday and he duly reversed the form when tasting success. Seems sure to launch another bold bid.

6. Diligent Harry (Clive Cox/Kieran Shoemark)
Remains relatively lightly raced for a five-year-old and just about better than ever when landing the valuable All-Weather Sprint Championships at Newcastle last month. Effective on turf but this will require a career-best effort if he is to trouble the principals.

7. Emaraaty Ana (Kevin Ryan/Tom Eaves)
Group 1 winner over six furlongs in 2021 and has been placed in the last two renewals of the Nunthorpe Stakes at this course. As good as ever when second in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland on his final start last year and that effort puts him in the mix.

8. Khaadem (Charles Hills/Jim Crowley)
Smart form when winning a brace of five furlongs contests at up to Group 2 level in 20222. Patchy profile since, however, failing to fire at Meydan this year and others are more persuasive on balance.

9. The Astrologist (Leon & Troy Corstens/Ryan Moore)
Group 3 winner in Australia who ran a screamer when runner-up in Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in March, just failing and beaten only a neck by a surprise 40/1 winner. That form brings him right into the mix on his British debut with Ryan Moore booked, and Australian sprinters always command respect.

10. Azure Blue (Michael Dods/Paul Mulrennan)
Went from strength to strength last year having graduated through the handicap ranks and she picked up where she left off when running out a taking winner of a listed event at Newmarket 11 days ago. She went with plenty of zest on that occasion and her limit may not have been reached, so she's not to be underestimated.

11. Marshman (Karl Burke/Clifford Lee)
Won first two starts before an excellent second in the Gimcrack over course and distance last season. He didn't need to improve to make a winning reappearance in a Group 3 at Chantilly, though he needed to be firmly driven to keep straight. Steps up in class but he's not fully exposed and receives weight all round.

Recommended bets

Timeform's Analyst Verdict

Highfield Princess had race fitness on her side when landing this a year ago, and while she's no banker to be fully tuned this time, this triple Group 1 winner may still outclass these. Australian-raider The Astrologist brings totally different formlines to the table and he's a fascinating contender, with Creative Force completing the shortlist turned out quickly following a success at Haydock on Saturday.

1. Highfield Princess
2. The Astrologist
3. Creative Force

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