Leading Oaks hopes clash in Musidora at York

Sir Michael Stoute’s Noon Star and the Roger Varian-trained Teona put their Cazoo Oaks credentials on the line in Wednesday’s Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York.

A total of eight fillies will line up in the trial, which is a Group Three races in its own right so offers valuable black type.

Noon Star, who runs in the Juddmonte colours, is a daughter of brilliant mare Midday, a multiple Group One winner for Sir Henry Cecil, and she is by champion sire Galileo.

Third on her debut at Salisbury, she subsequently beat Hugo Palmer’s Ocean Road, who was placed in the Lingfield Oaks Trial, at Nottingham.

Noon Star gave some idea of just how good she might be when carrying a 7lb penalty to success at Wetherby on her seasonal bow, with Lingfield winner Sherbet Lemon back in fourth.

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She will be ridden by Richard Kingscote, who was also in the plate at Wetherby.

Teona has been heavily backed for the Classic in recent days and Varian has had a degree of success in the trials to date.

The Sea The Stars filly was a nine-length winner at Newcastle when she was last seen in November.

Mystery Angel will aim to take another step up the ladder having won the Pretty Polly for George Boughey.

John Gosden runs Senita, another filly owned by Juddmonte, but well beaten by Hurricane Lane on her return at Newbury.

Andrew Balding’s Auria, the Ed Walker-trained Glenartney, Quiet Assassin from Adrian Keatley’s yard and Aidan O’Brien’s Snowfall, not seen since she was confused with subsequent Guineas winner Mother Earth in the Fillies’ Mile, complete the field.

One the same card is the Group Two Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes which sees July Cup winner Oxted head a field of 12.

Summerghand (right) swooped late to beat Oxted (centre) and Emaraaty Anna at Newmarket
Summerghand (right) swooped late to beat Oxted (centre) and Emaraaty Anna at Newmarket (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Following a fruitless trip to Saudi Arabia, Oxted finished a narrow second to David O’Meara’s Summerghand in the Abernant Stakes and the pair meet again.

Tim Easterby has high hopes for Art Power this season after the grey performed well in the top sprints last term as a three-year-old.

In a similar boat is Walker’s Starman, who only lost his unbeaten record at Ascot on Champions Day on soft ground.

Varian’s Jersey Stakes winner Molatham drops back to six furlongs having ended his last campaign over a mile, with William Haggas running Nahaarr.

Kevin Ryan’s trio of Brando, Emaraaty Ana and Queen Jo Jo, Richard Fahey’s Ventura Rebel, Karl Burke’s Lady In France and Saeed bin Suroor’s Final Song also run.

Noon Star takes centre stage at Wetherby

Noon Star emerged as a potential Oaks contender after making an impressive start to her campaign at Wetherby.

Sir Michael Stoute’s filly is a daughter of Galileo out of the top-class racemare Midday, who won six Group Ones in the colours of the late owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah, but was narrowly denied in the Oaks at Epsom by Sariska in 2009.

Having made a promising start to her career when third at Salisbury in September, Noon Star opened her account with a clear-cut win at Nottingham the following month and was a 4-5 favourite for her reappearance in the Fillies’ Novice Stakes.

Ridden by Richard Kingscote, the three-year-old displayed a willing attitude to pull two and a half lengths clear of Loving Dream, with Franklet a further six lengths away in third.

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Paddy Power cut Noon Star to 12-1 from 20-1 for the Cazoo Oaks on June 4.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Abdullah’s Juddmonte operation, said: “I think it was pleasing the way she did it. She jumped well, settled in a good position and the first and second drew clear, which is encouraging for the future.

“We’ll discuss with the (Abdullah) family what they want to do, but there will be options like that (Oaks).”

Ametist (second right) in action at Wetherby
Ametist (second right) in action at Wetherby (Tim Goode/PA)

Ametist looks a similarly exciting prospect for William Haggas and Cheveley Park Stud judged on a facile success in the Watch Racing TV In Stunning HD Novice Stakes.

Making his first competitive appearance since scoring at Chepstow last summer, the Dutch Art gelding was a prohibitively priced 4-9 favourite in the hands of Tom Marquand.

Those who took the cramped odds will have had few concerns, however, with Ametist readily stretching four and a quarter lengths clear of second-favourite Miquelon.

“It wasn’t a great race, but he did it well,” said Haggas.

“This is his third run over seven furlongs, but I think he’ll get a mile in time.

“He looks to have plenty of speed. He just lacks experience that’s all.

“We’ll see what sort of mark he gets and plan his campaign accordingly.”

Cosmos Raj (15-8) was another winning favourite, landing the Royal Pigeon Racing Association Handicap for David O’Meara and Danny Tudhope.

The Keith Dalgleish-trained Chookie Dunedin (8-1) was a half-length winner of the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap, with Callum Rodriguez the winning rider.