With the Nunthorpe Stakes at York now just over a week away, we’re starting to get excited.
The 96th running of the race looks set to be one of the closest in recent times and in the betting there’s two runners that standout against all others.
It’s Lady Aurelia v Battaash.
The pair are evenly split in the odds, but even so it’s Lady Aurelia that takes our fancy at 6/4.
Trainer Wesley Ward avoided York last year but this time around his filly is primed and ready for a crack at the Nunthorpe.
The Lady is unbeaten over 5f and it’s difficult to make a case against her here, especially after she hacked up to claim the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in May.
She won by 3l that day to see off opponents including favourite Marsha (8/1 for the Nunthorpe) and Profitable.
However, no American-trained horse has ever won the Nunthorpe and the last non-European winner was Ortensia, who scored for Australia in 2012.
With that in mind her nearest challenger Battaash could be the way to go at 15/8.
OK, it’s not the most adventurous shout, but up against one of the best sprinter’s around, Battaash represents the tastiest looking alternative.
The Irish-bred raider has enjoyed a prolific campaign notching wins in three appearances, including the competitive Coral Charge at Sandown and in the King George at Glorious Goodwood earlier this month.
Trainer Charlie Hills has a 13% strike rate with three-year-olds on the turf this season and it’s easy to see the prominent Battaash adding to that next week.
It’s difficult to look elsewhere for this, the 96th renewal, but it may fall to the aforementioned Profitable at 16/1 to lay down a challenge to the market leaders.
Five-year-olds don’t have a great record in this race (two wins in 16), but Profitable has been close throughout this season without landing a top prize.
Further improvement is expected from Charlie Cox’s charge who should be in contention yet again.
Click here for the latest Nunthorpe Stakes odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing