Washington aiming to hit Nunthorpe Heights

Washington Heights will drop back to five furlongs and attempt to scale the summit of the sprinting ranks in the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes at York later this summer.

A consistent performer in handicap company last season before striking at Listed level in Sweden, he has taken his form to the next level this term.

He made a winning return in Newmarket’s Abernant Stakes before producing a commendable effort in defeat at York, while he was travelling menacingly in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot before stamina limitations kicked in close home.

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Connections have now opted to revert to the minimum distance with the Kevin Ryan-trained speedster – a decision that was made even easier due to the impressive nature of stablemate Inisherin’s victory over six furlongs in the Commonwealth Cup.

He will now be freshened up for the Ebor meeting, where he will compete at the highest level once again in the Knavesmire’s sprint feature.

“He’s just showing increasing speed now and he showed us that in the Duke of York,” said Cosmo Charlton, racing manager for owners Hambleton Racing.

“We always thought he might end up being a five-furlong horse and it did concern us that stiff six furlongs at Ascot. We decided to hold onto him a bit at Ascot and maybe he was a touch keen with doing that as well, he just ran out of gas.

Washington Heights (left) in action at York earlier this year
Washington Heights (left) in action at York earlier this year (Mike Egerton/PA)

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“Tom (Eaves, jockey) got off and said he thought he had won it two furlongs out and it was just a case of if he got home, but he has not got home. He got off and said back to five, so it’s straight to the Nunthorpe.

“He’s ran three times at York and been narrowly beaten each time, so I would be hopeful he bounces back in that race.

“Kevin was delighted with him before Ascot and now the master sprint trainer has another good one (Inisherin), it almost makes perfect sense to go back to five furlongs and is a beautiful outcome – he will be favourite for the July Cup I would imagine.”

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