Cox eyes Nunthorpe for sprint pair

Profitable (right) wins the listed Westow Stakes at York in 2015 under Adam Kirby. The now 5-year-old is expected to head back to the track next Friday. Photo:

Leading British trainer Clive Cox is hoping to saddle two runners in this season’s Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York on Friday 25 August.

At this stage, both Profitable and Priceless are on target to line up in the five-furlong Group 1, which is worth £350,000.

The former, who runs in the colours of Godolphin, secured a G1 success in last year’s King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and has enjoyed another solid campaign so far in 2017. He also showed his potential when winning in listed company aged three at York.

He has finished runner-up on all his previous three starts, including when bidding for back-to-back wins at Royal Ascot and when last seen in action in G2 company at the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Those two defeats came at the hands of Lady Aurelia and Battaash respectively and a rematch could well be on the cards for Cox’s sprinting ace.

Profitable is set to be joined by the Alan Spence-owned Priceless, a daughter of Exceed And Excel who landed a G2 earlier this season in the Temple Stakes at Haydock. That success came on ground officially described as firm, and Cox is hoping that the ground will be on the quick side for both of his charges.

He said: “At the moment both Profitable and Priceless are intended runners in the Nunthorpe. Both seem in good form at home and deserve to take their chance. The long-range forecast looks decent and this would be in both their favour. 

“Profitable ran well at Goodwood – we were very happy with him. He has come out of the race in good form. It looks like being a very competitive race – certainly a mouthwatering contest – and one that will be great to be part of.”

Cox has plundered many of the UK’s top sprint prizes in recent years and just last month he landed the Darley July Cup at Newmarket with Harry Angel. He has yet to take the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes and it is no doubt a race he would love to add to his CV.

He added: “It is always great to have runners at York – especially in the big races. Everyone wants to be part of it. It is a great occasion and somewhere we love to have winners.”

The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes is the feature on day three of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, which runs from Wednesday 23 August – Saturday 26 August inclusive.

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