Trainer Sir Mark Prescott has outlined that his ante-post favourite for the £285,000 Betfred Ebor will require ‘soft’ in the ground description to ensure that he line ups at York on Saturday 26 August.
Prescott’s charge Flymetothestars has won three of his five starts – all on all-weather surfaces. The 4-year-old Sea The Stars gelding was last seen on July 1 in the Stobart Rail Northumberland Plate, when running a fine third, beaten just three-parts of a length by Higher Power. He is currently 7-1 with sponsors Betfred for the Ebor, staged over a mile and three-quarters on the Knavesmire.
Prescott said: “Flymetothestars will only run if there is ‘soft’ in the ground description. It’s a very unusual situation isn’t it? He has never run on turf in his life. He ran extremely well in the Northumberland Plate and hence he is such a short price. But he has never run on turf, only on all-weather.”
Prescott also confirmed that flying filly Marsha is to be tasked with tackling big guns Lady Aurelia and Battaash in the G1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York on Friday 25 August.
Marsha began the season with a dazzling victory in the G3 Palace House Stakes at Newmarket. The consistent 4-year-old, owned by Elite Racing Club, has not been out of the first three all season and is a course and distance winner, having landed the listed John Smith’s City Walls Stakes last July.
She was third behind Lady Aurelia in the G1 King’s Stand at Royal Ascot and filled the same position on her last start at Glorious Goodwood behind Battaash in G2 company. Now Marsha is ready to return to G1 company for a shot at the £350,000 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes.
Prescott assessed: “She is very consistent, run in all the top sprints this year and been placed every time. The Nunthorpe looks a marvellous race with some very, very fast horses in it and she is entitled to be there, but Lady Aurelia and Mr Hills’ [horse] (Battaash) have both beaten her this year.
“They have beaten her fair and square before, but in sprints tiny little things make a big difference.”
The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday 23 August to Saturday 26 August inclusive.