Fresh from taking the top trainer title at Goodwood, Ralph Beckett is lining up a strong squad headed by Kinross for York’s Sky Bet Ebor Festival.
Kinross landed the Lennox Stakes last week, one of three winners for the Kimpton Downs handler across the five-day fixture.
The six-year-old will now follow the same route as last year, rolling on to the Knavesmire to defend his crown in the Group Two Sky Bet City of York Stakes – with the seven-furlong contest now boasting a prize fund of £500,000 to highlight the action on August 26.
Beckett said: “It was great to get his head in front again last week and our intention is to run in the City of York. He’s already shown a liking for the place.
“He’s very versatile, having won a Champions Sprint (at Ascot) and nearly won a Breeders’ Cup Mile as well. He’s not (trip) specific, but seven furlongs is definitely his optimum.”
Beckett also has Angel Bleu, another who runs in the colours of Marc Chan, in the City of York, although the ground would need to be testing for him to run.
“He would only go if it was wet. He’s in good form, but he does need slow ground,” he added.
Bluestocking is the only Group One entry of the week for Beckett, with the filly set to contest the Pertemps Network Yorkshire Oaks on the second day of the four-day fixture, August 24.
Winner of her only juvenile outing, the Juddmonte-owned runner has placed in each of her three starts this term, posting a career-best effort when beaten just half a length by Savethelastdance in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh last month.
Beckett said: “It was a good effort. We were thrilled with her. Our intention is to run in the Yorkshire Oaks, certainly. She came back from Ireland in good shape and we’re on course.”
While Kinross and Bluestocking are set to be Beckett’s headline acts, he is eyeing the Group Three Sky Bet and Symphony Group Strensall Stakes for Royal Hunt Cup winner Jimi Hendrix, with the richly-endowed handicaps across the fixture also grabbing his attention.
He said: “It’s always important to show off at the festivals. We had a good Goodwood, hopefully we can carry it on into York.
“Jimi Hendrix will probably run in the Strensall Stakes (August 26). We’ll have a few for the handicaps as well. We’re hoping to come with a team, for sure.”