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Series pointers from York

16 May 2013

Society Rock, Liber Nauticus, Dalkala and Libertarian could all make an impact in this year's QIPCO British Champions Series after winning at York's Dante Meeting.

Society Rock lands last year’s Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock Park. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

After two days of the Dante Festival at York, there have been plenty of pointers to Series races that lie ahead, none more so than Society Rock’s game victory in the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes yesterday.

Conceding weight to every horse other than the race-fit Gordon Lord Byron, who finished third, dual Series winner Society Rock won by a head from Lethal Force.

That was a fine effort from the James Fanshawe-trained sprinter on his first start of the season and bodes well as he aims for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot next month, a race he won two years ago.

He might well have won last year’s Diamond Jubilee as well if he hadn’t lost several lengths at the start.

He also won last year’s Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock Park in fine style.

In fourth and fifth yesterday were Hawkeyethenoo and Maarek, who finished first and second (the other way round) in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint on QIPCO British Champions Day last October. That shows the quality of the form.

Liber Nauticus won the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes, one of the main Investec Oaks trials, though it is not yet certain that the Sir Michael Stoute-trained filly will head to Epsom, where the bends and undulations may not suit her style of racing.

Either way, the Darley Yorkshire Oaks back at York in August, another key race in the Fillies & Mares category, will surely be on the agenda.

That race is also likely to be on the agenda for Dalkala, who made the journey from France to win today’s Betfred Middleton Stakes, for older fillies and mares. She is trained by Alain De Royer-Dupre, who won last year’s Darley Yorkshire Oaks with Shareta.

There was a big shock in the Betfred Dante Stakes, York’s big Investec Derby trial, when 33-1 outsider Libertarian, trained by Elaine Burke, came home an ultimately impressive winner. He will surely head to Epsom on 1 June now.