Kinross in line to defend City of York crown on Saturday

Kinross could be set for a York rematch with Isaac Shelby when he defends his Sky Bet City of York Stakes crown on Saturday.

Ralph Beckett’s six-year-old claimed this Group Two prize with real authority 12 months ago before going on to add further big-race victories at Doncaster, ParisLongchamp and Ascot on British Champions Day before the season ended.

He thrived for the return to seven furlongs when clashing with Brian Meehan’s progressive colt at Goodwood and will be hoping to confirm the form of that neck victory over his younger rival when they lock horns on the Knavesmire.

The Lennox Stakes protagonists are just two of a high-class cast of 16 that could line up, with William Haggas nominating this contest as the next port of call for Royal Ascot runner-up Sacred.

Charlie Appleby’s Al Suhail was not disgraced when finishing sixth in that Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes, while Pogo and Sandrine were second and third respectively behind Kinross 12 months ago and others who remain involved following Monday’s confirmation stage.

The weekend’s action on the Knavesmire begins with what could be an exciting renewal of the Sky Bet And Symphony Group Strensall Stakes.

Sir Michael Stoute could hold all the aces in a race he has won twice in the last 10 years as both Nostrum and Passenger have an entry for the Group Three contest over a mile and one furlong.

Nostrum – who also holds an entry for a Group Two at Goodwood on the same day – created a taking impression when making his seasonal return in the Sir Henry Cecil Stakes at Newmarket before getting bogged down in testing conditions on the Sussex Downs recently.

Meanwhile, the Niarchos family’s Passenger has already performed with credit at York once this term when a luckless third in the Dante and has been given plenty of time to recover from his Epsom exertions when down the field in the Derby.

A maximum of 14 will contest that £170,000 event, while the Listed Julia Graves Roses Stakes has attracted 17 names including Windsor Castle Stakes third Inquisitively, who makes his first appearance for Kevin Philippart de Foy, and Andrew Balding’s Molecomb Stakes runner-up Purosangue.

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