More York glory beckons for Knavesmire star Royal Rascal

York Press: North Yorkshire trainer Phil Kirby North Yorkshire trainer Phil Kirby

ROYAL RASCAL, who has gained all three of her career wins at York, returns to Knavesmire this afternoon with smart prospects of adding to her course tally.

Trained at Great Habton by Tim Easterby, the four-year-old is blinkered for the first time in the BetBright Fillies' Handicap and will have David Allan in the saddle.

A high-class juvenile in 2012, Royal Rascal has not won since landing a listed race in the autumn of that year, but she was confined to only two outings last season.

This term she has been to the races on three occasions and her latest effort saw her finish a close-up second to Bondesire at Chester a fortnight ago.

Royal Rascal looks to have a fine chance of reversing those placings with Bondesire - a creditable sixth at Epsom last Saturday - on these revised terms, particularly if her applied headgear works the oracle. It would be fitting if she can resume winning ways at her favourite venue.

North Yorkshire owner Irvine Lynch would doubtless relish the chance of seeing his colours carried to success at York and he has every chance of doing just that with Dr Irv in the Garbutt & Elliott Handicap.

The four-times winner looks to be coming to hand and there was plenty to like about his latest fifth-placed performance over two miles behind Villa Royale four weeks ago. Eagle Rock finished ahead of him in second that day, but this shorter distance is expected to suit Dr Irv slightly more than his Tom Tate-trained rival.

Phil Kirby, trainer of Dr Irv, has booked PJ McDonald to take the mount on his five-year-old, who is napped to make a bold bid for his enthusiastic owner, who lives near Helmsley.

The opening Constant Security Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Stakes has attracted eight runners and three of them hail from Richard Fahey's Malton stable.

Pick of the trio is likely to be the newcomer Al Gomry, the mount of Paul Hanagan, who cost 150,000gns as a yearling and who boasts a good pedigree. Al Gomry will probably need to be on his mettle over this fast five furlong course as he meets John Quinn's promising Pre Rapide as well as Fast Lola, who comes from the Ollie Stevens yard which is pretty adept at producing sharp juveniles.

Fahey also has good prospects with Dusky Queen in the Geoff Pemberton Memorial Handciap.

The four-year-old showed a good attitude when battling home a neck winner here at the latest meeting. The handicapper has put her up 2lb for that success which should enable Dusky Queen to be competitive once again. Ryan Moore, in the saddle last time, will resume his association with the Musley Bank filly.

In the Neptune Investment Management Handicap, Connecticut makes plenty of appeal from the Luca Cumani stable.

The Newmarket raider looks a promising performer and scored readily on his second and latest start at Newbury. He has been given a mark of 84 for his handicap bow and looks sure to run a big race under Andrea Atzeni.

The Skf Rous Selling Stakes looks a tricky race to solve, but Izzthatright may not need to improve much on his previous two efforts to clinch the spoils for Nigel Tinkler, though he is closely matched on form with Ollie Pears' Studio Star, who should also be in the mix.

The York action concludes with the Green Hammerton Apprentice Handicap which presents the David O'Meara-trained Saved By The Bell with an opportunity to complete a hat-trick of wins.

Successful on his last two outings at Hamilton and Ripon, Saved By The Bell may be able to shrug off a 6lb penalty in the hands of experienced rider Sam James.

Up at Musselburgh, a note should be made of the speedy and lightly-weighted Diamond Creek

(4.00) and Captain Royale (4.30), a previous course-and-distance winner.


Selections

York today

2.00 Al Gomry, 2.30 Connecticut, 3.05 Izzthatright, 3.40 Dusky Queen, 4.10 Royal Rascal, 4.40 Dr Irv (NAP), 5.15 Saved By The Bell.

Musselburgh today

1.50 Jumeirah Glory, 2.20 Spiceupyourlife, 2.50 Diamond Creek, 3.25 Best Of Order, 4.00 Cravat, 5.30 Captain Royale, 5.05 Corton Lad.

Today's other meetings

Aintree, Chepstow, Goodwood and Sandown.

Tomorrow's meetings

Bath, Chester, Hexham, Leicester, Lingfield, Musselburgh, Sandown and York.

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