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Cock Of The North a National treasure

Some highly promising juvenile line-up in the National Stakes at Sandown this evening (6.40), and Cock Of The North looks to have major claims of landing the spoils in the 5f Listed contest.

Trained by Scott Dixon, one of the country’s youngest handlers, the colt looked and above average sort when storming home by three lengths on his debut in the Brocklesby at Doncaster back in March.

The son of Cockney Rebel showed plenty of pace to chase the leaders before asserting entering the final furlong to pull clear.
The form of the race, which was run on soft ground, has worked out well and Cock Of The North’s proven ability to act in the mud is a major plus.

If he comes through this test with flying colours Dixon will aim Cock Of The North at either Windsor Castle, Norfolk Stakes or Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, and Rizeena won this race 12 months ago before going on to land the Queen Mary at the meeting.

The Richard Hannon trained Tiggy Wiggy was a wide margin on the opening day of the season at Kempton and followed up in good style on soft ground at Salisbury before finishing a highly creditable runner-up in a Listed contest at York last time out.

That form sets the standard for others to aim at, and with Richard Hughes in the saddle the the daughter of Kodiac looks the main danger to Cock Of The North.

Escalating, who was sent of favourite when finishing seventh behind Cock Of The North in the Brocklesby, has gone on to score twice since and can also not be discounted.

The Pat Eddery trained colt still looked green when winning last time up at Ascot, but will have to improve again to turn the tables of Cock Of The North.

Via Via also impressed when making a winning debut at Ripon, and represents evergreen trainer Clive Britain whose saddled Rizeena top win last year’s renewal.

The colt is held in very high regard at home, and with Ryan Moore in the saddle is worthy of plenty of respect in what is a fascinating contest.