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Fellowes mounts dual assault on Duke Of York prize

Charlie Fellowes will saddle both Vadream and Ejtilaab in Wednesday’s 1895 Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes.

Vadream won the Group Three Bengough Stakes at Ascot last season and rounded off her campaign by finishing fifth, beaten just three lengths, in the British Champions Sprint a fortnight later.

Fellowes expects his four-year-old to improve for her comeback run in the Group Two feature on the opening day of York’s Dante Festival, but is nevertheless anticipating a bold showing.

He said: “Vadream had a really hard year in 2021, so she had a well-earned break over the winter.

“She looks a picture. Although this is not the end-goal, she is ready to rock and roll and I would be really disappointed if we don’t get a good performance.

“I just hope that she’s able to jump out of the gates sharp and get a nice position, because at York I don’t think you want to get too far back. But we’ve got Danny Tudhope on board who’s very lucky for me and I’m looking forward to seeing Vadream back on a racetrack.”

A lack of race fitness will not be a problem for Ejtilaab, who spent the winter in Dubai before making a successful return to Britain at Kempton in March.

He was last seen finishing a close-up fifth when favourite for the Sprint on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Newcastle.

“Ejtilaab has been running over the winter, is race-fit and in great nick,” Fellowes added.

“We were pleased with his run at Newcastle on a track that I don’t think suits his running style. He likes to go forward, which will suit at York. I think he’ll run a big race.”

Other leading contenders for the Duke of York include the Owen Burrows-trained Minzaal, Roger Varian’s new recruit Dragon Symbol and Richard Hannon’s high-class filly Happy Romance.

Emily Upjohn and Frankie Dettori at Sandown
Emily Upjohn and Frankie Dettori at Sandown (John Walton/PA)

A small but select field of five runners are set to go to post for the following Tattersalls Musidora Stakes – a key trial for next month’s Cazoo Oaks at Epsom.

The top two in the market are Emily Upjohn, who was a brilliant winner on her reappearance at Sandown for John and Thady Gosden, and Charlie Appleby’s Newbury debut winner Life Of Dreams.

Aidan O’Brien’s Irish raider The Algarve, Ralph Beckett’s course winner Luna Dorada and Ching Shih – a daughter of 2014 Musidora winner Madame Chiang for David Simcock – complete the line-up.

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