WINTER POWER (York, nap, 3.35) must repel the might of America and Europe to land today’s Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes, but she possesses the muscle to ensure the Group One feature remains on home shores.
The fascinating sprinting feature boasts a cosmopolitan feel this year with Golden Pal arriving from Stateside bidding to gain compensation for trainer Wesley Ward following Lady Aurelia’s agonising defeat in this event four years ago.
French representative Suesa will also have her supporters following her dominant Goodwood defeat of Dragon Symbol in the King George Qatar Stakes.
However, it is another member of the fairer sex in Winter Power who gains my vote with her Knavesmire record and brazen speed two of her most compelling attributes.
It has taken a while for the penny to drop for the selection who was too headstrong for her own good earlier in her career.
She is still in a rush during her races, but connections have worked out that the best way to harness her potency is to allow her to have her head in front and those tactics have worked out beautifully on her last two trips to the Knavesmire.
A combination of a speed track such as York and decent ground have ensured Winter Power has begun to harness that potential and she has also matured physically which gives her a major chance of upsetting her more fancied rivals.
Admittedly, a length defeat of Moss Gill in a Listed event over course and distance last time is a long way from Group One glory, but this is a ‘home tie’ for Winter Power and I’m optimistic she can strike for the north.
Stradivarius puts his exemplary York record on the line in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup as he strives to complete a hat-trick in the Group Two staying prize while also extending his unbeaten run on the Knavesmire to five.
He may well prove superior to his select field once more, but SPANISH MISSION (York, nb, 2.25) finished a place in front of Stradivarius in the Gold Cup at Ascot and there appeared no fluke about that performance so he gains the vote.