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Ebor Festival losers: 5 horses who fell short at York

| 22.08.2022

While the likes of Baaeed, Alpinista and Highfield Princess rose to the challenge at York’s Ebor Festival, there were a few at skinny prices that did not meet the expected mark.

We reflect on those beaten runners, who could yet make amends before the end of the year.

Dramatised (Lowther Stakes)

Having made a huge impression on her Newmarket debut and when following up in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot, Karl Burke’s filly was widely expected to complete her hat-trick in Thursday’s curtain-raiser – but jockey Danny Tudhope’s pre-race fears about a step up in trip proved well founded.

Dramatised, Ebor Festival losers, York, horse racingThe daughter of Showcasing had looked brilliant in winning over five furlongs on her first two starts but after racing on the speed from flag-fall, she patently failed to get home over six on the Knavesmire and was ultimately upstaged by her widely unconsidered stablemate Swingalong.

Dramatised was disappointingly beaten three and a half lengths into fifth place but deserves another chance to show her true colours back over the minimum distance in due course.

Golden Lyra (Galtres Stakes)

With dominant wins at Newmarket and Kempton sandwiching a close second in Listed company at Newmarket, Golden Lyra was strongly fancied to open her Stakes race account at York.

The warning signs were evident for her supporters from an early stage, though, with the three-year-old racing with a little too much zest over the mile and a half and she ultimately weakened tamely.

Connections took the view that the drying ground was to blame for her underwhelming performance, so perhaps she will be seen to better effect in the autumn.

Stradivarius/Trueshan (Lonsdale Cup)

It was a crying shame for the York executive and everyone in attendance that neither Stradivarius nor Trueshan faced the starter on Friday.

Racegoers were encouraged to dress in black and yellow in support of Stradivarius, who was due to bid for a seventh win in as many course starts.

But that bubble was popped in the early hours of raceday morning after he was found to have a bruised foot before being loaded onto the horsebox in Newmarket.

His absence presented Trueshan with what looked a gilt-edged opportunity to get back on the winning trail but having chanced quicker ground when defending his Goodwood Cup crown last month, connections were not minded to do so again and he was taken out after the first race – leading to a collective sigh from the crowd when his non-participation was confirmed.

Nothing should be taken away from the runaway winner Quickthorn, of course, but the absence of two of the sport’s staying stars was undoubtedly a big blow to the race.

Royal Aclaim (Nunthorpe Stakes)

James Tate’s charge had a bit to find on the ratings but such was the impression she had made in winning her three starts at Newcastle, Bath and particularly at York last month, she was clear favourite to maintain her unbeaten record in Friday’s Group One showpiece.

The Aclaim filly had looked all speed when accounting for her City Walls Stakes rivals but on the big day ended up on the wrong side of the track and could finish only sixth.

After just four lifetime starts it would be folly to give up on Royal Aclaim just yet but she now has to prove she has what it takes to make her mark at the top level.

Mighty Ulysses (Strensall Stakes)

John and Thady Gosden’s colt was the biggest disappointment on Saturday’s card, finishing fifth when all the rage for the Group Three opener.

The three-year-old was beaten just three-quarters of a length when occupying the same finishing position in the Group One St James’s Palace Stakes in June – and having since made the most of a drop in class in a Listed contest at Newmarket, he lined up at York as the one to beat.

But while perhaps going an extra furlong did not help, he certainly underperformed, as proved by the fact the winner Alflaila had been no match for him on the July Course last month.

He could do with learning to settle if he is going to eventually win a Pattern race.

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Stuart Walker