Hoof It returns to action in the City Walls Stakes at York
For all the high quality action around the country on Saturday, there would be few more popular winners than Mick Easterby’s Hoof It. The gelding has already won three times here and was favourite for the Nunthorpe in 2011, eventually finishing sixth to Margot Did.
He had previously defied 10st to win the Goodwood Stewards’ Cup and racegoers will be delighted to see him back in action on Saturday. On official ratings he has a few pounds in hand on these but his fitness will obviously have to be taken on trust.
Veteran Borderlescott would not be far behind in the popularity stakes having won the Nunthorpe here as far back as 2009. Robin Bastiman’s eleven-year-old has won 14 times in a career spanning 66 races, the last of which was at Dundalk in October.
He has began to slide down the ratings with the passing of the years but connections feel that he retains enough enthusiasm to keep on racing. Brian Smart’s Tangerine Trees is no spring chicken either at the age of eight but has put in a couple of fine efforts this season.
He beat Kingsgate Choice first time out and then got within a couple of lengths of Sole Power at Newmarket. He was not that far behind Kingsgate Native in the Temple Stakes and is likely to put in a bold bid here with a fitness edge over some of his rivals.
Kingsgate Choice has gone on to win valuable sprints here and at Musselburgh and arrives in flying form. He is weighted to finish upsides Tangerine Trees but looked to have a little up his sleeve last time and will also be a popular choice.
Graham Lee has a good book of rides at the meeting and he teams up with the speedy Heeraat. The four-year-old has been mixing it with the best this season and should be right in the thick of things.
The consistent Justineo and Ayr winner My Propellor may be the best of the others in a fascinating sprint.