Nunthorpe Stakes 2018: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide
Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Friday's Nunthorpe Stakes, and pick out their 1-2-3...
"Joint highest rated horse in training and will continue to take all the beating."
Timeform on Battaash
1. ALPHA DELPHINI (Bryan Smart/Graham Lee)
Smart performer who finished eighth in this race last year. Matched pick of efforts when head second to Mr Lupton in listed race over C&D last time, but vulnerable back in Group 1 company here.
2. BATTAASH (Charles Hills/Jim Crowley)
Top-class performer who bounced back to best when winning second consecutive King George Stakes at Goodwood last time, impressively by four lengths from Take Cover, tanking along and quickening clear two out. Joint highest rated horse in training and will continue to take all the beating.
3. BLUE POINT (Charlie Appleby/William Buick)
Better than ever when winning King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot (by one and three quarter lengths from Battaash) in June, but well below form in July Cup (6f) at Newmarket last time, racing freely back up in trip. Battaash likely to take more catching on this speedier track, but still the main danger.
4. CASPIAN PRINCE (Michael Appleby/Ben Curtis)
Speedy sort who is in top form at present, winning handicap at Musselburgh in June and length second to Havana Grey in Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh last time. Has won here before and return to this fast five furlongs will suit well, so seems sure to give his running.
5. JUDICIAL (Julie Camacho/Luke Morris)
Building a really solid profile this season, winning last two starts, proving at least as good as ever when beating Muthmir by neck in Coral Charge at Sandown last time. Well worth a crack at this, but needs to raise his game further to trouble the principals. Not at best on two previous visits here.
6. MR LUPTON (Richard Fahey/Paul Hanagan)
Three-time winner here (twice over C&D) and not disgraced when four and three quarter lengths fourth to Battaash in King George Stakes last time. Will be ridden to pick up the pieces again, but yet to finish better than a well-held fifth in three starts in Group 1s.
7. MUTHMIR (William Haggas/Daniel Tudhope)
Won listed race at Haydock (by short head from Alpha Delphini) in June and has proved most consistent since, finishing respectable four and a half lengths third to Battaash in King George Stakes last time. Place claims back at a track where he has run well in the past.
8. TAKE COVER (David Griffiths/David Allan)
Best effort this season when four lengths second to Battaash in King George Stakes last time, adding to his tremendous record in a race he won in 2014 and 2016. Has more mixed record at this course, though, and looks opposable with even more rivals for the early lead.
9. WASHINGTON DC (Aidan O'Brien/W.M Lordan)
Very smart at best but operating below that level at present, though was strong in the betting when last of seven in Sapphire Stakes won by Havana Grey last time. Well beaten in this race last two years.
10. ABEL HANDY (Declan Carroll/Kevin Stott)
Won Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket last October (by neck from Sound And Silence) in 2017 but yet to replicate that form this season, most recently finishing sixth in the listed City Walls Stakes here last month. Likely to find this far too sharp.
11. BATTLE OF JERICHO (Aidan O'Brien/Frankie Dettori)
Won 6f minor event at Fairyhouse in May and handicap at the Curragh (by short head from Caspian Prince) in June. Creditable three lengths sixth to Havana Grey in Sapphire Stakes last time, especially after missing the break, but more needed at this level.
12. DECLARATIONOFPEACE (Aidan O'Brien/Michael Hussey)
Produced career-best effort in first-time blinkers when two lengths fourth to Havana Grey in Sapphire Stakes last time, finishing well. May yet be capable of even better.
13. HAVANA GREY (Karl Burke/P.J McDonald)
Produced career-best effort when winning Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh last month and possibly found the race coming too soon when seven and a half lengths sixth to Battaash in King George Stakes 12 days later. One of the leading three-year-old sprinters, so better expected here.
14. SIOUX NATION (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore)
Wins in 2017 included Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh. Also won Lacken Stakes at Naas (by one and a quarter lengths from Fleet Review) in May but well below form in King George Stakes last time. Trainer in better form now, but has a bit to prove.
15. MABS CROSS (Michael Dods/Tom Eaves)
Better than ever this season, best effort when two lengths third to Blue Point in King's Stand, and not disgraced when third to Havana Grey in Sapphire Stakes last time. Likeable filly who can give another good account, especially with any rain in her favour. Trainer knows how to win this race.
16. HEARTACHE (Clive Cox/Adam Kirby)
Won three times as a two-year-old, including the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster, but yet to replicate that form in three runs this term. Well held in King George Stakes at Goodwood last time and unlikely to make an impact.
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Timeform Nunthorpe Stakes Analyst Verdict
Battaash was beaten only by himself in this 12 months ago, getting too worked up before the race, but his temperament has been much more in check this season, and he will prove very hard to beat if in the same form as at Goodwood last time. Blue Point should appreciate this drop back in trip, but may struggle to peg back Battaash over this fast 5f, and Caspian Prince could offer better each-way value.
Timeform Nunthorpe Stakes 1-2-3
2. Blue Point
3. Caspian Prince