York Stakes option for Ebor hopeful Kihavah

Kihavah may drop in trip for the Sky Bet York Stakes on Saturday week ahead of a potential crack at the Ebor next month.

Classic-winning trainer Adrian Keatley feels his stable star, who has a handicap mark of 98, may have to win another race to ensure a place in the Sky Bet-sponsored feature handicap.

Having won his previous four races, including once over hurdles, Kihavah finished a game second to Saeed bin Suroor’s Live Your Dream at Newmarket last week.

“We might run Kihavah at York as a prep run for the Ebor as he’s short a couple of pounds on 98, he might need another couple to make sure he gets in,” said Keatley, who won the 2016 Irish 1,000 Guineas with Jet Setting.

“He’s got his confidence back, he had a couple of issues with his wind in the past, which we’ve played around with, and we seem to have found the key to him now.

“It was a massive run last week at Newmarket but the rain came a bit soon as it just made it a bit loose. Half a mile from home I thought he had no chance, but he pulled it out of the bag again.

“He’s a very big horse, he was very lean when I got him but he seems to be holding his condition now and taking his training better. Hopefully if he gets into the Ebor, he could be a good representative for us.

“We were thinking of Market Rasen this weekend, but when you are talking of races like the Ebor being a possibility, we can always go back jumping later.

“He’s very much a top-of-the-ground horse and because the ground got so loose last week it was a harder race than expected, so that was another reason we missed Market Rasen this weekend.”

The Sky Bet York Stakes is on the final day of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival which gets under way on Friday at Pontefract and concludes at York on Saturday week.

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