THE dragon can be the symbol of evil or supernatural power – and the equine version might need both to land a much deserved big pot at York today.

Oh yes people, Day 3 on the Knavesmire is all about the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes and that means speed speed speed.

Battaash has dominated the event in recent times, but you go back to Lochsong, Dayjur, Ajdal and Sharpo for other great winners.

Wesley Ward challenges with Golden Pal, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner at Keeneland last year. Just having such a horse here is huge. 

Taking him on is Suesa, who was super cool at Goodwood last time for France, the electric Winter Power, and Dragon Symbol, the mount of Oisin Murphy for Archie Watson.

Today might just be the day for DRAGON SYMBOL, who I'm hoping can do what Oxted did in the King's Stand at Royal Ascot. 

The disqualified Commonwealth Cup hero has since been second in the July Cup and runner-up to Suesa at Goodwood where a slow start did not help.

I'd hope Murphy gets the Watson challenger out quicker here and he is a great each-way bet.

After a fair start I want him just tucked in behind a furious pace and pounce late. 

The Nunthorpe is live on the main ITV network, as is the opener, a handicap over 1m4f. A huge field and a tough one to sort out.


STATE OF BLISS is a youngster against seasoned handicappers but he stepped up to this trip in style at Ascot last time and Nicola Currie keeps the ride for Mark Johnston.

A weight of 8st 4lb is very attractive and he's lightly raced for the Middleham handler so should have more to offer.

Draw 18 is not ideal but they often come down the middle of the track on the round course which would help.

Next up is the Group 2 Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup over an extended 2m. Some have given up on STRADIVARIUS but not me.


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There have been plenty of decent reasons why the John Gosden runner has not come up to scratch in recent times and even despite that he hasn't always been disgraced.

The former multiple Gold Cup hero has a chance to bounce back here for Frankie Dettori in conditions which should be perfect.

A win would bring the roof off the grandstand. Finally on telly ITV show the Group 2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack for juveniles over 6f.

BERKSHIRE SHADOW never seemed happy on soft ground at Goodwood last time and I will give him another chance for Andrew Balding and Murphy.

The Royal Ascot Coventry Stakes winner still have more to offer and might be good enough to see off Lusail and Pat Dobbs.

One thing for sure is my selection will be running right to the line.

Good luck!


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