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Exciting Friendly Soul faces six rivals in Musidora test

3 minute read

John and Thady Gosden’s exciting prospect Friendly Soul will face a maximum of six rivals in the Group 2 Musidora Stakes at York on Wednesday.

FRIENDLY SOUL (white cap) winning the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket in England.
FRIENDLY SOUL (white cap) winning the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket in England. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The George Strawbridge-owned three-year-old made a winning debut on the all-weather in December before being sent off a reasonably unfancied 10/1 chance to back up that effort in the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket on Guineas weekend.

However, under a confident front-running ride from Clarehaven Stables's new number-one jockey Kieran Shoemark, Friendly Soul found plenty for pressure to deny 4/6 market leader Kalpana by one and a quarter lengths.

The daughter of Kingman will now face six rivals on the Knavesmire later this week as she bids to keep her unbeaten record intact.

Ralph Beckett has had his fillies' in fine form of late, winning both the Chester and Lingfield Oaks Trials, and he is responsible for two of the seven declarations made on Monday morning. Impressive Sandown maiden winner Classical Song rounded off her two-year-old campaign by finishing fourth in the Group 1 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket and now stepping up to a mile and a quarter for the first time, she looks the pick of the Kimpton Downs handler's duo, with stablemate La Pasionaria seemingly having plenty to find on ratings.

Narrow Newbury maiden scorer Sinology will take the step up in grade for trainer David Simcock, with team Ballydoyle relying on Justify filly Mayfair , who is yet to get her head in front after three outings having been turned over at odds-on at Dundalk in April.

Secret Satire and Francophone complete the field of seven.

Elsewhere on the card, the Group 2 1895 Duke Of York Clipper Stakes has attracted a strong field of fifteen.

The Michael Dods-trained Azure Blue will be bidding to make it back-to-back wins in the six-furlong prize having denied the recently ill-fated heroine Highfield Princess on the Knavesmire twelve months ago. She'll have to beat the likes of Karl Burke's speedy Haydock Sprint Cup fourth Swingalong, whose stablemate Spycatcher will join on the back of his promising reappearance effort in the Group 3 Abernant Stakes at Newmarket last month.

Kevin Ryan's progressive Abernant Stakes winner Washington Heights will take on the reopposing Mill Stream once more, with William Haggas' Montaasib and Marshman, who disappointed in the aforementioned Newmarket Group 3, both in contention at the 48-hour declaration stage.

Last year's Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes hero Art Power will make his eagerly awaited return to the Knavesmire, with shock Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes scorer Khaadem set to make his return to action since finishing fifth in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock last September.

Diligent Harry will return to home soil for the first time since finishing third in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan, while all-weather finals day winner Fivethousandtoone steps up in grade for the in-form combination of Andrew Balding and Oisin Murphy .

Shouldhavebeenaring, Cold Case, Tiber Flow, and course specialist Commanche Falls complete the line-up

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