Conditions key to Big Evs Nunthorpe challenge

Ground conditions will dictate whether Mick Appleby supplements Ascot and Goodwood hero Big Evs for the Nunthorpe Stakes at York.

The two-year-old was a Royal Ascot winner when landing the Windsor Castle Stakes in mid-June, sprinting to three-length victory having started a relative outsider at 20-1.

He was not so overlooked when stepping up to Group Three level in the Molecomb at Goodwood, where he started as the 9-4 joint favourite on ground vastly different to Ascot’s good to firm.

Rain had left the South Downs track soft underfoot, but Big Evs showed a great will to win when prevailing by a neck from Andrew Balding’s Purosangue.

Immediately after the race, connections discussed a supplementary entry for the Group One Nunthorpe on August 25, which would cost £40,000.

The race has not been won by a two-year-old since Kingsgate Native in 2007 and the state of the ground in the lead up to the fixture will determine whether or not Big Evs bids to become the latest juvenile to feature on the roll of honour.

“He’s fine, he’s all good and he’s come out of the race really well,” Appleby said.

“He didn’t really like the ground but he’s obviously quite tough and he toughed it out.

“We’ve got a great attitude, now we’ve got to decide whether we supplement for the Nunthorpe or not.

“We’ve had discussion about it with the owner, a lot will depend on the ground and we will probably not decide until the week before when we have to supplement.

“If it was soft ground we’d probably not go there with him, but we’ve got plenty of time until we have to decide.”

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