Posts

Delight for Easterby with Nottingham double sealing seasonal best

Tim Easterby enjoyed a red-letter day at Nottingham as stormed past his previous best of 126 winners in a year with a double on Jockey Club Grassroots Series Finals day.

Matty Too gave the Great Habton trainer his 127th success of 2021 in the Nursery Handicap Final, before Ava Go Joe led home a 1-2-3 for the North Yorkshire stable in the Sprint Handicap Final. Both winners were in the colours of owner Brian Valentine and partner.

Easterby completed an across-the-card treble when Eye Knee (10-1) won at Catterick.

“It’s fantastic. We’ve had a great year and been really lucky. We’ve got a really good team, some nice horses and great owners. It’s been good,” said William Easterby, assistant to his father.

“Art Power was phenomenal the other day and Winter Power was the highlight of the season in the Nunthorpe, but it’s not just about the big winners – having any winner is nice and for the owners.”

Matty Too’s was an appropriate triumph as the two-year-old is by Mattmu, a former stable star with two Group successes and a Great St Wilfrid win to his name.

Like the Easterby team, Matty Too (4-1) has been consistent all year and was always prominent as he swept to a second career victory, by a length and a half from Magic Warrior.

“That was really good and he’s by Mattmu which is great. We bought him as a foal and he’s got a lot of his dad in him, and he enjoyed the ground,” said William Easterby.

“I think a bit of cut in the ground was the main thing that has helped him today and it’s great to have a go at some good money somewhere. We hoped he’d run well.

“Winning one of these races can make a big difference to an owner’s year.”

Ava Go Joe (11-2 favourite) would not be denied as he held his two stablemates at bay by three-quarters of a length and the same in the hands of Duran Fentiman.

“That was really good. You can’t beat that,” said Easterby.

“East Street Revue (third) is an old hero so you’re always hopeful about him, Ava Go Joe improved for cut in the ground and Wade’s Magic (second) has been running well all year. It’s a great result.”

Howzer Black (11-1), trained by Keith Dalgleish, rallied in game fashion for Callum Rodriguez to hold Natchez Trace by a short head in the Jockey Club Grassroots Series Middle Distance Final Handicap.

Rodriquez said: “He’s been in top form all year and keeps coming out and winning.

“He’s so tough and genuine it takes a good one to pass him. When one comes he just sticks his head out and doesn’t let them by.”

Idilico warded off the attentions of Haizmoom to spring a 25-1 surprise in the Stayers’ Handicap Final for trainer Ian Williams and jockey David Egan.

The six-year-old got home by a head with Forever William a neck away in a tight finish to the mile-and-three-quarter contest.

“The race panned out for him today. They went a nice strong gallop and he was able to get cover,” said Egan.

“He was doing his best work at the end and hit the front close to the line. It was a good performance for a horse of his rating to win a race with that prize money.”

Meredif (7-2 favourite) showed the benefit of her experience to run out a ready winner of the SME Graduate Employment www.sme-graduates.co.uk EBF Slip Anchor Maiden Stakes.

The Owen Burrows-trained filly bounded clear in the final furlong to beat True Icon by half a length under David Probert.

Burrows said: “She’s a filly we’ve always thought a bit of. It went wrong at Wolverhampton first time, but she showed a bit more promise a couple of months ago here.

“I just felt at home she has been a bit more relaxed the last month and that has helped her strengthen physically. She did that well today.

“We’ll see what mark she gets now, she how she comes out of it and take it from there.”

The Mick Appleby-trained Raasel backed up his win at Goodwood a week ago with a gutsy display to take the racingtv.com Handicap.

James Doyle kept the 4-7 favourite up to his work to beat Not On Your Nellie by three-quarters of a length.

“The plan was always Goodwood and then this if he came out of that race fine,” said Chris Dixon, of owners The Horse Watchers.

“His form in the past has been best when fresh. I think he could be quite a nice sprinter. He’s had a few issues, but if he stays in one piece he could progress quite a bit.”

The two divisions of the EBF Oh So Sharp Maiden Fillies’ Stakes went to the Clive Cox-trained Cape Diver (12-1) and Ed Dunlop’s Hanaady (22-1) respectively.

Easterby outlines Ascot assignment for Art Power

Tim Easterby confirmed Art Power will head for the Qipco British Champions Sprint after he demolished the opposition in the Renaissance Stakes at the Curragh.

The four-year-old grey, owned by King Power Racing, opened his account for the season with a five-length romp in the six-furlong Group Three on Saturday.

He will now try to better his creditable performance last autumn, when he was only beaten a length in fourth place behind Glen Shiel, in the Group One contest at Ascot on October 16 .

Art Power finished close behind winner Glen Shiel at Ascot last year
Art Power finished close behind winner Glen Shiel at Ascot last year (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“It was a very good performance in Ireland and he’s come out of it really well,” said Easterby.

“He’s in good order and he goes to Ascot next time. He ran well last year.”

Easterby believes the key to Art Power is for him to be ridden with restraint.

“He just wants riding with a bit of patience. That’s what he wants and he could win anything,” the Great Habton trainer added.

Winter Power won the Nunthorpe at York
Winter Power won the Nunthorpe at York (Nigel French/PA)

Easterby reported his other crack sprinter, Winter Power, to be in fine shape ahead of the Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

“She’s in great form and goes to the Prix Abbaye,” he said.

“With a bit of luck she can repeat her Nunthorpe performance in France.”

Winter Power put up a blistering display to land York’s five-furlong showpiece by a length and a quarter from subsequent Haydock Sprint Cup scorer Emaraaty Ana, but disappointed in the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh earlier this month after running too free in the early stages.

Renaissance effort puts Art Power in Champions Day frame

Art Power proved far too good for his rivals as he blazed to victory in the William Hill Ireland Renaissance Stakes at the Curragh.

Tim Easterby’s charge boasted some top-class form to his name, having finished third in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot, fourth in the July Cup and a close-up fifth in the Sprint Cup at Haydock when last seen.

Dropped to Group Three level in this six-furlong heat, Art Power was sent off the 4-5 favourite and was always travelling well under David Allan.

He sat on the heels of pace-setter Stormy Girl before Allan gave the signal and Art Power eased right away to win by five lengths from Twilight Spinner. Measure Of Magic was back in third.

Paddy Power make Art Power an 8-1 shot for next month’s Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot – and Allan thinks the Group One heat will play to Art Power’s strengths.

He said: “He travelled very strongly through the race, quickened up and ran through the line strong.

“Obviously it’s a bit of a step down in class for him. It might do his confidence good and hopefully he’ll pick up a big one soon.

“He loves Ascot and I think Champions Day will be the target for him. He goes on that ground, but a bit of juice in the ground would suit him.

“The biggest job is reining in his speed early on to get him a bit more control and then he’ll run through the line.

“He doesn’t need to make the running and as long as he travelled I was happy.”

Willesee looked the part for Jessica Harrington with a winning debut in the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Maiden.

The Gleneagles filly really hit top gear a furlong and a half out and powered home for Nathan Crosse.

Harrington said of the 16-1 winner: “Nathan said he always felt that she was going to get there.

“She was withdrawn at Naas because she wouldn’t go into the stalls and also at a barrier trial.

“Will Hayes has done some job on her and that’s why I’ve run her at the Curragh, so he could come over. He’s at the start with her and leads her in. She trusts him now and maybe that will give her a bit of confidence.

“The owners are Australian.”

Gaire Os Ard made her experience count in the Irish EBF Auction Series Race, defying odds of 9-1 to get off the mark on her seventh racecourse outing.

Always handy, Jim Bolger-trained Teofilo filly kept on strongly from two out and had enough in reserve to hold Thunder Eclipse by three-quarters of a length in the hands of Kevin Manning.

Bolger said: “She has taken a little bit of time, but is a filly with a future and she can run over anything from six furlongs to a mile.

“She is a big filly and we’ll try to get some black type for her, maybe not this year but it will certainly be on the cards for next year.”

Aidan O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan took the feature Beresford Stakes with Luxembourg and Jeroboam (2-1) made it a double with a length-and-a-quarter verdict in the William Hill Ireland Lengthen Your Odds Maiden.

Magniffico (7-2) lifted the GAIN The Advantage Series Nursery Handicap, while Sh Boom swooped late for an 18-1 win in the William Hill Ireland Pick Your Places Handicap.

Winter Power heading for Flying Five at the Curragh

Nunthorpe heroine Winter Power has been given the go-ahead for the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Tim Easterby’s filly was a brilliant winner on the Knavesmire last month – and having reportedly taken those exertions in her stride, she will bid to double her Group One tally at the weekend before being prepared for the Prix de l’Abbaye on the first Sunday in October.

Alastair Donald, racing manager for owners King Power Racing, said: “The plan is to go. She’s well after York and we just thought she might be too fresh if we left her between now and the Abbaye without a run.

“Winning the Nunthorpe was very special for all concerned. She’d threatened to do that – she’s raw speed and that track suits her.

“Having said that, she has won at plenty of other places, including over a stiff five up the hill at Newmarket, so there’s no reason why the Curragh wouldn’t suit.”

Donald confirmed the Abbaye remains on the agenda and that Winter Power will return as a four-year-old next season.

He added: “She’s an exciting prospect and as long as she runs well on Sunday, the Abbaye will be the next step.

“She won’t be going to the Breeders’ Cup. I would be nervous watching her go round a bend! She once went round a bend at Wolverhampton and she got stuffed when she had to run to about 70 to win!

“She’ll be back next year, 100 per cent. Ideally she’ll go Flying Five, Abbaye, make her champion sprinter and then do it all again next year!”

Glass Slippers after winning last year's Flying Five Stakes
Glass Slippers after winning last year’s Flying Five Stakes (PA)

Winter Power was one of 16 sprinters left in the Flying Five following Tuesday’s forfeit stage.

She may have most to fear from a fellow Yorkshire raider in Kevin Ryan’s Glass Slippers, who won the race 12 months ago before going on to finish second in the Abbaye and win at the Breeders’ Cup.

Archie Watson’s ultra-consistent colt Dragon Symbol is another potential challenger from Britain, while the home team includes Jack Davison’s Mooneista and the Joe Murphy-trained Gustavus Weston.

The Flying Five is the first of four Group One prizes on day two of Longines Irish Champions Weekend, with Classic glory up for grabs in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger.

Dermot Weld’s Search For A Song could bid for a third victory on the one-mile-six-furlong contest, while the Joseph O’Brien-trained Twilight Payment will look to add to his six course wins.

Johnny Murtagh’s Ebor hero Sonnyboyliston also features among the 22 contenders.

The juvenile fillies and colts get their chance to shine at Group One level in the Moyglare Stud Stakes and Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes respectively.

Fourteen fillies remain in the mix for the Moyglare, with Joseph O’Brien’s Debutante Stakes scorer Agartha setting the standard.

Point Lonsdale is unbeaten in four starts
Point Lonsdale is unbeaten in four starts (Brian Lawless/PA)

The National Stakes throws up an intriguing clash between Aidan O’Brien’s unbeaten colt Point Lonsdale and Native Trail, who will bid to provide his trainer Charlie Appleby with a third win in the race following the successive triumphs of Quorto and Pinatubo.

Appleby told www.godolphin.com: “Native Trail’s prep has gone well. It has always been the plan to progress from the Group Two Superlative Stakes at Newmarket to the National Stakes at the Curragh. It’s a well-trodden path for ourselves.”

Hugo Palmer’s Phoenix Stakes winner Ebro River adds further strength in depth.

Winter Power plans still to be finalised

No decision has yet been made over impressive Nunthorpe winner Winter Power’s next target.

Tim Easterby’s speedster led her rivals a merry dance at York last week to complete her tremendous progression over the last 12 months.

Her first victory came in a Redcar nursery off a mark of 76 last July, and while she ended her busy juvenile campaign with a victory in the Cornwallis Stakes, she still appeared to have plenty of ground to make up on the best sprinters.

Two victories on the Knavesmire sandwiched a creditable run in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot before her Nunthorpe blitz, and two Group Ones remain in Europe for the five-furlong specialist.

Silvestre de Sousa and Tim Easterby winner Nunthorpe winner Winter Power
Silvestre de Sousa and Tim Easterby winner Nunthorpe winner Winter Power (Nigel French/PA)

“She’s come out of the Nunthorpe well and she’s in good form,” said Easterby.

“We don’t quite know what the plans are for the rest of the season yet.

“There are two obvious races, the one in Ireland (Flying Five) and the (Prix de) l’Abbaye, but she’s just nicely back from the Nunthorpe so we’ve no idea yet.

“She could run in one or both, I don’t know yet.”

Winter Power storms to Nunthorpe glory

Winter Power gave a career-best display as she blitzed her way to victory in the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes at York.

Tim Easterby’s flying machine won for the third time on the Knavesmire this season with a devastating performance over five furlongs, as she defeated strongly-fancied rivals from America and France.

US raider Golden Pal was quickly away for Frankie Dettori from stall one on the far side – but Winter Power was also up with the speed from her draw in six.

Golden Pal’s run petered out disappointingly before the final furlong, but Winter Power (9-1) sustained her gallop for Silvestre de Sousa all the way to the line to win by a length and a quarter.

Emaraaty Anna (40-1) was second, with Dragon Symbol (4-1) half a length away in third.

Suesa, the 9-4 favourite for French trainer Francois Rohaut, was fourth, but Wesley Ward’s Golden Pal was only seventh.

Great Habton-based Easterby – whose family is synonymous with York – said: “As long as we went straight and didn’t mess about, she had a chance.

“We didn’t go anywhere else, we resisted going anywhere but she’s just brilliant, it doesn’t matter where she goes.

“It’s taken a long time to get to a race like this, you have to give them time and you have to be patient.

“With her, she’s just a superstar, you don’t train her and you don’t train her hard.

“When she came up there she was just on her toes a little bit and she needs to settle and not do too much.

“I’m so thrilled for the owners (King Power Racing), the investment that goes into these horses is incredible.”

He added: “We’ll just enjoy today, I’ve never been to Del Mar (Breeders’ Cup), we’ll keep her for this next year.

“You’ve got to get them home and see, even though she’s won easily, she’s had a hard race.”

De Sousa said: “She’s unbelievably fast, when she hits the gates right she’s really good.

“She did that here first time this year and I thought I hadn’t sat on anything as fast as her.

“She was very good, on a track like this she just hit her stride straight away.

“I’m just pleased for the King Power team, they have put so much effort into these races.

“They have a great horse for the future, this is her first Group One so hopefully we can keep it going.

“There were no orders, I spoke to the team who said to keep it simple, which is how I like to ride.

“I was confident, I was riding for the best place possible and trying to win the race.

“She’s in great form and she was the best on the day.

“I could see Frankie, he was in front for the first furlong where she was going too well.”

Kevin Ryan was thrilled with the run of Emaraaty Ana, another horse trained locally.

He said: “The Hamilton race gave him confidence. Passing the two-pole I knew they’d gone hard and it was a question of if they could keep it up as I knew he’d stay on strong.

A picture to savour for the Winter Power team
A picture to savour for the Winter Power team (Nigel French/PA)

“Fair do’s to the winner, she’s incredible. She probably hit a brick wall, but it was too close to the line for us.

“Ours is a very good horse. This fellow is as good as I’ve had. He’s probably a better six-furlong horse, we’ve run him over five to get him to relax but it leaves the rest of the season open.

“He’s probably a bit ground dependent and needs it quick, he’s in the Abbaye which might suit but he’s also in at Haydock and Champions Day which could come up as bogs so we’ll see.

“I’m delighted, I was confident he’d run a big one and he has. He’s only young, he’ll get better.”

But a despondent Ward said of Golden Pal: “Frankie said he was waiting for the turn.

“I made no secret of it that I was very confident coming into the race, but the winner ran a tremendous race and we’re disappointed.

“I think so highly of this colt of course I’m disappointed, it just wasn’t his day.

“I still think he’s a tremendous racehorse. We’ll see if any answers come up when we get him back and see what we find. We were just beaten.

“From everything I’ve seen of this colt, he’s just awesome so when he runs a race like today it’s a head scratcher. We’ll see what transpires, I haven’t lost faith in him.”

Super six at York for Copper Knight

Copper Knight landed a sixth course success at York when taking the Sky Bet And Symphony Group Handicap, the opening race of the four-day Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

Tim Easterby’s seven-year-old showed blistering speed to spring an 18-1 surprise in the sprint over five and a half furlongs.

A winner over the five furlongs on this course in May, Copper Knight was quickly away from stall three on the far side and soon leading the pack under David Allan.

The Sir Prancealot gelding galloped home to record a 10th career success by three-quarters of a length from Live In The Moment. Hurricane Ivor was a neck away in third and Jawwaal a head back in fourth.

Easterby said: “He’s a wonderful horse. Dave said he’s not felt like that for a long time.

“He likes that good ground and just coasted along. He got a nice tow into it and it was brilliant to watch.

“I don’t train him really – he trains himself. He lobs away out the back, canters round and you don’t do anything fancy with him.

“He’s an absolute star and we’ll look at the Portland (at Doncaster) maybe.

“He was in on Saturday at Chester, but he won’t run there now – he’s earned his corn now.”

Arcadian Sunrise winning at York
Arcadian Sunrise winning at York (Nigel French/PA)

Irish raider Arcadian Sunrise delighted favourite backers with a last-to-first victory in the two-mile Sky Bet Handicap.

A narrow winner of a valuable handicap hurdle at the Galway Festival three weeks ago, John Queally’s 11-4 chance charged home under a typically patient ride from Jamie Spencer to get up and beat Rajinsky by a length and a quarter.

“He’s a good dual-purpose horse, and it worked out well,” said Queally.

“He won well in Galway, and initially I thought this might be a bit soon for him, but the very next morning he told us ‘we’re going to York’.

“This is a heavenly place, isn’t it? I had a horse placed in the Queen Alexandra when the Royal meeting was held at York, and it’s great to have a winner here.

“I honestly don’t know where we’ll go with him now, maybe the Irish Cesarewitch at the end of the year.”

The Declan Carroll-trained Tweet Tweet (7-1) notched her third win from four starts this year in the IRE Incentive, It Pays To Buy Irish Stakes, with Harrison Shaw the winning rider.

Carroll said: “Carrying that weight today (9st 7lb), that was a good performance.

“She’s all heart and is progressing well. She could make up into a nice filly next year.

“We could look at the Listed race at Doncaster (Scarborough Stakes), but a lot will depend on the ground – she needs fast ground.”

Flaming Rib (16-1) lunged late to land the concluding Sky Bet Nursery for trainer Tom Dascombe and 5lb claimer Pierre-Louis Jamin.

Easterby relishing Nunthorpe bid with Winter Power

Tim Easterby is not afraid of taking on market leaders Golden Pal and Suesa with Winter Power in the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes at York.

The three-year-old filly has won twice on the Knavesmire already this season, with her only defeat so far coming in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

She had last year’s Nunthorpe third Moss Gill behind her when winning last time out – and Easterby would love nothing more than to win one of the feature races of the season at one of his local tracks, an event last won by the family when his uncle Mick scored with Lochnager in 1976

“She’s in very good order and we know she likes it there,” said Easterby.

“She did a little piece of work on Saturday and went very well. She’s in great form.

“It can’t do any harm that she’s getting the allowances, both of them (age and sex).

“She’s in good form, I can’t wait. She’s fresher than most and I’m as confident as you can be going into a race like that.”

Winter Power-ed up for Nunthorpe

Winter Power is set to spearhead Tim Easterby’s team for the four-day Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York.

The three-year-old sprinter goes for Group One glory in the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes, having already shown a liking for the Knavesmire.

Winter Power is third-favourite at 6-1 with some bookmakers for the five-furlong dash, after victories in the British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes and the John Smith’s City Walls Stakes this season.

“She is proven over the five furlongs and that’s why she’s going. It’s been the aim all year. She is in great form,” said Easterby.

“This (meeting) is our goal for every horse that we have, really. Everybody up here that owns horses in the north wants to go to York’s August meeting. It’s like the southern lads going to Goodwood or the Newmarket July meeting.”

Easterby, whose stables at Great Habton are only 30 miles from the track, outlined running plans for several other horses from his powerful string, which is already close to 90 winners for the current season.

“We plan to run Copper Knight on the first day, first race (Sky Bet & Symphony Group Handicap). He’ll do for a starter,” he said.

Copper Knight (left) winning at York last year
Copper Knight (left) winning at York last year (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“We have Cruyff Turn – (£100,000 Clipper Logistics heritage handicap, 19 August). He likes fast ground. If Dark Jedi doesn’t get in the Ebor, he’ll run in the mile-and-a-half race (Sky Bet Handicap, August 20).

“Another that will be entered there will be Bollin Joan in a mile-and-a-quarter fillies’ handicap (Assured Data Protection British EBF Fillies’ Handicap, August 20) – she’d have a good chance.

“And we’ve got Fishable that might run on the Saturday in the mile-and-a-quarter race (Sky Bet Handicap, August 21). Whether they win or not, I wouldn’t know.”

Winter Power sizzles on the Knavesmire

Winter Power is set for a return to the Knavesmire after a blistering performance in the Listed John Smith’s City Walls Stakes at York.

The filly bounced back from an unplaced run in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot to produce a convincing success as 9-4 favourite under David Allan.

The Nunthorpe Stakes is now on the agenda, a Group One test run over the same course and distance in August, but trainer Tim Easterby would like to see the three-year-old rein in her enthusiasm a touch.

“That was pretty impressive,” Easterby said.

“David said he wasn’t in control of her, she was going too quick.

“She’s got to get settled, if she doesn’t settle she won’t get home.

“She won it well, but she has got to settle because she was doing too much.

“She’ll go for the Nunthorpe, whether we’ll go to Goodwood I’m not sure.

“She won’t be short of speed but you’ve got to be in control.”

The victory was the second leg of a York double for both trainer and jockey, who teamed up earlier on the card to take the John Smith’s Nursery Stakes with Atomic Lady.

Easterby plots big sprint targets for Power pair

Tim Easterby has the major sprint races in mind for his two speedsters Art Power and Winter Power following their creditable efforts in defeat at Royal Ascot.

The Darley July Cup at Newmarket and Newbury’s Hackwood Stakes are among the options for Art Power.

The four-year-old led until the last half-furlong before having to settle for third place behind Dream Of Dreams and Glen Shiel in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

“He’s come out of it really well. He’s in great form and was bang on, straight after the race,” said Easterby.

Art Power has the July Cup as a possible option
Art Power has the July Cup as a possible option (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

As for Art Power’s next target, he added: “Not sure yet – maybe the Hackwood next month, there’s a race for him in Ireland as well.

“There are quite a few options. Or the July Cup, he could go there.”

Winter Power may head to Glorious Goodwood for the King George Qatar Stakes next, having weakened in the closing stages to finish ninth in the King’s Stand Stakes behind Oxted.

The three-year-old filly was sent off 7-1 third favourite for the Group One over five furlongs, following an impressive victory at York on her seasonal debut.

“She came out of the King’s Stand really well,” said Easterby.

“There are lot of obvious options for her over five furlongs – like the King George at Goodwood, the Nunthorpe, the Abbaye at the end of the season.

The North Yorkshire handler has had to put plans on hold, however, for Wells Farhh Go – who suffered a setback following his run in the Yorkshire Cup.

The injury-plagued six-year-old was fourth to Spanish Mission, in his first race for 587 days.

“We just had a little hiccup with him after last time,” said Easterby.

“It’s nothing serious, but we had to just put him on hold a bit again.

“We’ll get there some time – no plans at the moment. It will be an autumn campaign with him.”

Winter Power ready for King’s Stand surge

Tim Easterby reports Winter Power in fine shape for the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot following her impressive victory at York last month.

The three-year-old filly staked a big claim for sprint honours when running away with the Listed Westow Stakes on the Knavesmire.

She was carrying on where she left off last year, having ended a busy juvenile campaign with a convincing victory in the Group Three Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket.

Easterby said: “She’s in great order, she couldn’t be better.

“She was impressive at York, and she’s impressive all the time.”

The Great Habton trainer also expects Art Power to be at fever pitch for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes after he too made his seasonal reappearance at York’s May meeting.

The four-year-old burst on the scene when scoring at Royal Ascot last summer, before going on to win at Group Three level and running creditably in three Group Ones.

The Dark Angel colt blew away the cobwebs when sixth to Starman in the Duke of York Stakes.

“He’s in great form. His race at York has put him right,” said Easterby.

Lampang also booked his place at the Royal meeting when ending a 21-month losing spell at Hamilton on Thursday.

“It was good to see him come back to form. He’s a good horse,” said Easterby.

“He’s in the Wokingham, and there’s the seven-furlong race (Buckingham Palace), but I’d think he’d have to go for the Wokingham.

“He’d have a very good chance. The stiff six furlongs will suit him.”

Winter wonderful on the Knavesmire for Easterby

Winter Power looks like she is going to have a say in some major sprints this season given the way the three-year-old bolted up in the British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes at York.

Tim Easterby’s filly looked progressive at the end of last season when winning the Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket, yet even with that Group Three penalty her rivals did not see which way she went.

She burst out of the stalls and held a big early advantage after three furlongs, when Silvestre de Sousa began to look around to see where the others were.

It soon became apparent that nothing could live with the King Power Racing-owned filly and when Acklam Express began backpedaling – eventually finishing tailed off – the 5-1 winner had the race in the bag.

She came home three lengths clear of Atalis Bay with another five back to Dexter Belle.

“She’s just a natural. She’s always been able to gallop, it just took us a while to get it together, but she’s so relaxed now,” said Easterby.

“She’s a good size – she’s grown and done well. She was quite backward in her coat until about two weeks ago and she’s blossomed.

“She’s goes on firm ground and goes on soft ground – she’s just a pro. You get good horses like that once in a while.

“She hasn’t had a lot of galloping, but she doesn’t blow. Pipalong was the same – they don’t blow those good horses.

“She’s as good as we’ve had for a long time, I’d have thought.

“She definitely goes for the King’s Stand – that has been the plan all along.”

Winter Power was cut to 10-1 from 20s for the King’s Stand by Betfair.

Copper Knight (left) wins for the fifth time at York
Copper Knight (left) wins for the fifth time at York (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Easterby had earlier won with Copper Knight (11-2 joint-favourite), who took the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap at York for a second time to gain a fifth success on the Knavesmire.

Rated as high as 106 at his peak, he was well-backed at Chester last week to take advantage of a much-reduced rating of 85 but could only finish third to Jabbarockie.

In front a long way out, first James Sullivan’s mount had to see off the attentions of Jawwaal on entering the final furlong and then Mulzim made good ground from the rear to chase him home, at a distance of half a length.

Easterby said: “He’s a star, last year he just lost his way a bit.

“He ran great first time out (second at Newmarket), but went up a fair bit and that snookered him.

“He got himself re-handicapped really and he ran well at Chester last week.

“He likes it here. We might look at the Dash at Epsom.”

He added: “When he first came he was a bit stressy and took a bit of settling down, but he’s just one of those horses that is easier to train now.”

Kynren (left) was a narrow winner at York
Kynren (left) was a narrow winner at York (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Another Chester third went a couple of places better in the Matchbook Betting Podcast Hambleton Handicap, with the David Barron-trained Kynren coming out on top in a thrilling finish.

Ridden by Connor Beasley, 17-2 chance was strongly pressed by 7-2 favourite Brunch in the closing stages, but clung on by a neck.

“I got a little bit checked two and a half furlongs down, but once I got him back in a rhythm he went to the line all the way,” said the winning jockey.

“He’s a model of consistency and ran a mighty race last week at Chester. Coming back to a lovely track like York with a bit of ease in the ground just played to his strengths.

“I followed the fancied ones through and it worked out well.”

Lusail made a winning debut for Richard Hannon in the Constant Security ebfstallions.com Maiden Stakes.

The Al Shaqab Racing-owned colt was a largely unconsidered 28-1 shot in the hands of Andrea Atzeni, but displayed a willing attitude to get the better of Mattice by three-quarters of a length, with 5-2 favourite Albahr best of the rest in third.

Hannon, whose chief hope Secret Strength (4-1) finished fourth, said: “The winner is a nice colt and will improve massively for that.

“He’s only galloped twice and is not there in his coat yet. We’ll take things quietly, but if he’s good enough to go to Ascot he’ll go.

“I can’t work out the fourth horse – I’m certain there’s a good horse in there somewhere. He’s not finishing his races and I don’t know why.”

Copper Knight wins again on the Knavesmire

Copper Knight won the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap at York for a second time to gain a fifth success on the Knavesmire.

Rated as high as 106 at his peak, he was well-backed at Chester last week to take advantage of a much-reduced rating of 85 but could only finish third to Jabbarockie.

One of three runners for Tim Easterby along with Count D’orsay and top-weight Sunday Sovereign, the market spoke strongly in his favour and he was sent off the 11-2 joint-favourite.

In front a long way out, first James Sullivan’s mount had to see off the attentions of Jawwaal on entering the final furlong and then Mulzim made good ground from the rear to chase him home, at a distance of half a length.

Easterby said: “He’s a star, last year he just lost his way a bit.

“He ran great first time out (second at Newmarket), but went up a fair bit and that snookered him.

“He got himself re-handicapped really and he ran well at Chester last week.

“He likes it here. We might look at the Dash at Epsom.”

He added: “When he first came he was a bit stressy and took a bit of settling down, but he’s just one of those horses that is easier to train now.”

Kynren (left) was a narrow winner at York
Kynren (left) was a narrow winner at York (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Another Chester third went a couple of places better in the Matchbook Betting Podcast Hambleton Handicap, with the David Barron-trained Kynren coming out on top in a thrilling finish.

Ridden by Connor Beasley, 17-2 chance was strongly pressed by 7-2 favourite Brunch in the closing stages, but clung on by a neck.

“I got a little bit checked two and a half furlongs down, but once I got him back in a rhythm he went to the line all the way,” said the winning jockey.

“He’s a model of consistency and ran a mighty race last week at Chester. Coming back to a lovely track like York with a bit of ease in the ground just played to his strengths.

“I followed the fancied ones through and it worked out well.”

Art Power aiming to sparkle in hot renewal of Duke of York

Tim Easterby reports Art Power ready to return to the fray in the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes on the Knavesmire on Wednesday.

The son of Dark Angel, owned by King Power Racing, enjoyed a successful three-year-old campaign that saw him develop into a serious contender for sprinting honours.

After completing a hat-trick in convincing fashion in the Group Three Lacken Stakes at Naas in July, Art Power contested Group One company for his last three races.

He had his baptism at the top level in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York, where he was sixth to Battaash over the minimum trip, and was fourth in both the Haydock Sprint Cup and the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot in the autumn.

“He looks great, he’s in good form and is working well,” said the Great Habton handler.

“We’re aiming for Ascot and the Diamond Jubilee with him. This is a good starting point.”

“We’re ready for off.”

Oxted bids to win for the first time since he lifted the July Cup in the summer.

The Roger Teal-trained sprinter has just had three starts since then, with the latest coming at Newmarket when he was beaten by Summerghand in the Abernant Stakes.

The five-year-old takes on that old rival as well as other talented speedsters, but Teal could not be happier with his charge.

“He’s been working well and seems to be in good order. I’m very happy with him,” he said the Lambourn handler.

Roger Teal (left) with son Harry and Oxted after the July Cup and Oxted
Roger Teal (left) with son Harry and Oxted after the July Cup and Oxted (Hugh Routledge/PA)

“It’s a tough race, but at that level it’s going to be competitive. He’ll have to be on his A game, but he goes there in good form.”

Starman finished behind Brando (second), Art Power (fourth) and Oxted (fifth) when only 14th in the Champions Sprint when he got stuck in very testing ground.

“We’ve been waiting for this race all spring. He’s in cracking form,” said trainer Ed Walker.

“I’m a bit disappointed with the potential ground. I’m hoping the rain stays away. He’s been training great and moving fantastic, but it’s a stiff renewal of the race.

Starman bids to return to winning ways in the Duke of York Stakes
Starman bids to return to winning ways in the Duke of York Stakes (Mark Cranham/PA)

“He was beaten by a few of these at Ascot last year, for which we blamed the ground. Tom (Marquand) said he couldn’t get his feet out of the mud. We’re just hoping that on better ground, over the course and distance when he beat Dakota Gold, he can get back to winning ways and prove worthy of a shot at the Diamond Jubilee.

“We’re excited and couldn’t be happier.”

Molatham drops back to six furlongs for the first time since he was runner-up to Mums Tipple on his racecourse debut at Ascot in July 2019.

Roger Varian is hoping the Night Of Thunder colt can book his place in the Diamond Jubilee at the Royal meeting.

“We’re hopeful – he’s training super and looks fantastic,” said Varian.

“It’s his first run over six furlongs since he made his debut as a two-year-old, but he’s won a Jersey Stakes and has been placed in a Park Stakes – he’s a good horse.

Molatham (near side) drops back in trip at York
Molatham (near side) drops back in trip at York (Megan Ridgwell/PA)

“He’s a deceptive horse because he’s a fairly laid-back worker at home, but in his races he’s always been a strong traveller.

“York is quite a sharp track, but we’re hoping that he’ll handle the drop in trip to six furlongs and runs well enough to put himself in the Diamond Jubilee picture.”

Saeed bin Suroor is pleased with Final Song, who has her first run back in the UK after spending the winter in Dubai.

Saeed bin Suroor, trainer of Final Song
Saeed bin Suroor, trainer of Final Song (Mike Egerton/PA)

The four-year-old filly, who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, was second in the Group One Al Quoz Sprint on the last of her four races at Meydan where she was successful in the Group Three Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint.

“Final Song worked nicely on Saturday and is ready to go on her first UK start this season,” Bin Suroor told www.godolphin.com.

“She showed out in Dubai that this trip really suits and I am hopeful of another good run.”