Duke Of York Guide

1. Limato

T - Henry Candy

J - Harry Bentley

Seven-year-old Limato bounced back to form dropping in grade last term with a hat-trick of wins featuring a victory at York.

Stepping back into Group One on British Champions Day, he was not seen to his best on soft ground, but will suit the 'road-like' conditions on the Knavesmire.

Giving weight all round is a negative, but respected under his penalty.

2. Brando

T - Kevin Ryan

J - Tom Eaves

Second of five in this last year, and will have leading claims if improving from his useful return run at Newmarket.

Beaten by 66/1 chance Keystroke in the Abernant Stakes, he proved he goes fresh and his best form is usually towards the start of the season.

Decent fourth on Champions Day at Ascot; should put in a strong bid.

3. El Astronaute

T - John Quinn

J - Jason Hart

Strong form over five furlongs in lower Class One races and Conditions contests, but does have stamina to prove in this contest.

Front runner - El Astronaute won twice on the Knavesmire last term with a win and second in the month of May - both over the minimum distance, but unbelievably this will be his first start over six on his 40th career start.

Loves it here, and will need a career best now upped in trip.

4. George Bowen

T - Richard Fahey

J - Paul Hanagan

Quality grey - that always seems to pop up with a win every now-and-then, that he did at Kempton on the All-weather in a Class Two Handicap in March.

He was a good second to runaway winner Kachy at Lingfield on Finals Day almost a month ago, and does have good experience on the turf - including when winning over the course and distance in a handicap here twelve months ago.

That victory was decisive - winning by six lengths, so deserves his place and should get a strong pace to aim at.

5. Hey Jonesy

T - Kevin Ryan

J - Kevin Stott

Plenty of youth of his side; enjoyed a positive three-year-old campaign last season despite not winning a race.

Ran into several places last term including his second to Main Desire in Listed company over five.

That was his only start of the season over the minimum distance and probably his best, so one or two questions to answer and improvement will be expected.

Second on reappearance at Chelmsford, behind a classy Sir Michael Stoute performer which makes good reading.

6. Invincible Army

T - James Tate

J - P J McDonald

Won the opening turf race of the season at Doncaster, and looked better than ever in Listed company.

Looks a major player on that form with decent horses in behind - Major Jumbo in second, Equilateral third (second to Mabs Cross in a Group Three latest), so can be even better himself this time.

Looks a candidate to fear and beat on a course he has been seen just once before, when finishing a good second to Sands Of Mali on good ground in a Group Two over six.

All the signs are there.

7. Major Jumbo

T - Kevin Ryan

J - Jamie Spencer

Bold front runner, who needs to go to the next level after his third in Group Three company at Newmarket latest.

The five-year-old finished second to Invincible Army on his other start this season at Doncaster, so is traditionally there or thereabouts, and most importantly remains unexposed over six furlongs.

Won on his last appearance at this track in the Sprint Trophy Handicap back in October on soft ground, but has plenty of form on a good surface.


8. Ornate

T - David Griffiths

J - Phil Dennis

All career wins have come over five furlongs, and looks up against it today stepping up to six.

Somewhat rejuvenated this season after winning at Newmarket on turf return, before a decent fifth at big odds in a Group Three over five at Newmarket.

Has the profile to run into a place, but tough to tip up 50/1 shots when they are that price for a reason.

Last appearance over five was behind Hey Jonesy at Doncaster at back end of last season, when he only managed to beat three home in a double-figure field.

9. Projection

T - Roger Charlton

J - Jason Watson

Big Group Three victory in October, and form suggests he is certainly one to consider to on his comeback.

Was sixth in Sprint Stakes at Ascot when never able to threaten, but like many - his best form has come on good ground, including when third to Brando in the Abernant Stakes last season.

Has the potential, and time to make winning much more consistent.

10. Yafta

T - Richard Hannon

J - Jim Crowley

Beat Projection by a head back in July in the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury, and was desperately unlucky on his respective return run at Newmarket a few weeks back.

Ran his heart out in second when Keystroke swamped the field on the outside under Adam Kirby, but there were signals pointing in the direction of another decent productive season.

Progressed smartly in 2018, and his record of finishing first or second speaks volumes.