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Breeders Cup 2015

Yorkshire Ebor Festival Concludes Saturday

The Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York concludes on Saturday with a pair of long distance races: the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup over two miles and the $325,000 Ebor Heritage Handicap at 1 ¾ miles.


Dandino, owned and bred by Elite Racing, steps up to two miles in the Lonsdale Cup after a successful campaign over middle distances. Post time is 10:05 a.m. (3rd race at York).


“He’s a Group 2 winner over a mile and a half and he’s mixed it with Group 1 company over that distance, so we thought we’d try him over a bit further,” said trainer James Given.


Opinion Poll took the Londsale 12 months ago and warmed up for a repeat bid with victory in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup three weeks ago.


Godolphin’s 5-year-old was second to Fame And Glory in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June before the Goodwood win.


“I was very pleased that Opinion Poll won a big race at Goodwood and he heads to York in the same condition,” said trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni.


The Ebor Heritage Handicap is the richest handicap in European racing and is due off at 10:40 a.m. (4th race at York ).


Sir Michael Stoute has not won the Ebor for 15 years but saddles two leading contenders: Modun and Blissful Moment.


Although Modun is likely to start favored, preference is for stablemate Blissful Moment, who is near the bottom of the handicap and receives 12 pounds from top-weight Fox Hunt..


Trainer Brian Ellison is confident of a good run from Saptapadi in the Ebor. Unruffled by the 5-year-old’s wide draw, the North Yorkshire trainer has been heartened by the form of his leading contender’s last run. That also was at York over 1 ¼ miles when he was an unlucky fifth behind Twice Over in the Group 2 York Stakes.


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