The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Natural Scenery and Winning Story go to post for Europe’s richest handicap, the Ebor, staged over just short of a mile and six furlongs at York on Saturday, August 26, the fourth and final day of the Ebor Festival.
Natural Scenery made her latest appearance when a close fourth in the G3 Lillie Langtry Stakes over a mile and six furlongs at Goodwood on August 3.
The four-year-old Dubawi filly went down by a half a length when runner-up in the two-mile Northumberland Plate Handicap on Tapeta at Newcastle on July 1, having begun 2017 with two handicap victories on Tapeta at the same course.
Winning Story faded to 13th in the Queen Alexandra Stakes over an extended two miles and five furlongs at Royal Ascot on June 24.
The four-year-old son of New Approach had previously finished a close fifth in the G3 Ormonde Stakes over an extended mile and five furlongs at Chester on May 12.
He enjoyed a successful campaign on all-weather surfaces over the winter months, headed by victory in the All-Weather Marathon Championship over two miles on Polytrack at Lingfield Park in April.
Martin Lane partners Winning Story, while apprentice Edward Greatrex is up on Natural Scenery. They take on 18 opponents.
Saeed bin Suroor commented: “Winning Story is doing very well. The trip at York should be fine and I am looking forward to seeing a good run from him.
“Natural Scenery should also be suited by the distance of the race. She ran well last time at Goodwood and is in good form at home.
“The Ebor is always a tough race but I am happy with both horses.”
“The Melrose Handicap is also staged on Saturday at York and takes place over the same distance as the Ebor but is confined to three-year-olds. Godolphin is doubly represented by Bin Battutainfo-icon (Saeed bin Suroor/Martin Lane) and Secret Advisor (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle).
Dubawi colt Bin Battuta, who has yet to try the distance, comes into the race on the back of a head success in a 12-furlong handicap at Ascot on July 15.
Secret Advisor, also by Dubawi, was last seen out when fifth in a handicap over 12 furlongs at Goodwood on August 2, having previously finished third in the G2 Queen’s Vase over a mile and six furlongs at Royal Ascot on June 23.
Saeed bin Suroor said: “Bin Battuta is a nice horse and has done very well physically this year, as he showed when winning at Ascot last time.
“The Melrose looks the right race to go for and we are hoping for another good result from him.”
Charlie Appleby explained: “Secret Advisor has been consistent all year. The only disappointing race he has run was last time out at Goodwood, when the ground was soft and I think we can put a line through that.
“He seems to have come out of Goodwood fine and a repeat performance of his third in the Queen’s Vase would make him a major player.”
Two-year-old colt Sound And Silence (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle) lines up in the Listed Roses Stakes over five furlongs.
The son of Exceed And Excel was successful over the same distance in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 20, before finishing 12th in G2 July Stakes over a furlong further at Newmarket on July 13.
Charlie Appleby remarked: “We tried Sound And Silence over six furlongs in the July Stakes, but the race did not pan out for him as we would have liked.
“The drop back to five furlongs coupled with hopefully plenty of cover this time and we will see the Sound And Silence who won at Royal Ascot.”