Michael Dods : Racehorse Trainer

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Dods confirms Dakota Gold and Que Amoro will both take their chance in the Nunthorpe

TRAINER Michael Dods has confirmed that both Dakota Gold and Que Amoro will take their chances in one of the most prestigious sprint races of the season on Friday.

The Denton Hall pair will line up for what Dods describes as one of the most competitive renewals of the Group 1 Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes in years.

They both go to post at the York Ebor Festival despite preferring different types of ground – five-year-old mare Que Amoro loves it fast, while seven-year-old gelding Dakota Gold is seen at his best on soft.

Que Amoro was a gallant second to the mighty Battaash in the race last year but hasn’t been seen at her best in three runs so far this season. She will again be ridden by regular pilot Paul Mulrennan.

Dakota Gold, the winner of four races last season, was two lengths second to Judicial at Chester last time.

Dods, who won back-to-back Nunthorpe Stakes with the brilliant mare Mecca’s Angel in 2015 and 2016, said this morning (Wednesday): “Dakota Gold would prefer some rain and it’s a difficult call for him because he loves heavy ground. That said, he deserves his chance at this level. Que Amoro loves fast ground and, hopefully, they’ll both run well but this is the most competitive Nunthorpe we’ve seen in years.”

Fifteen horses are due to go to post on The Knavesmire, with the French trained Suesa – winner of the Group 2 King George Qatar Stakes at Glorious Goodwood – the ante-post favourite.

Connor Beasley, who won another of the country’s big sprints – The Stewards’ Cup – on Commanche Falls at Goodwood recently, believes Dakota Gold has a live chance.

“The York Ebor Festival is massive for racing in the north and we go there with a live chance. Dakota Gold has done great things for us and has progressed with each race to get up to the top level.

“We could have done with a bit of rain because he’s at his best on softer ground but, hopefully, we get some showers to make it genuine good ground and we’ll go there with a good chance.”

Dods described York as “second to none”, adding: “It’s the Royal Ascot of the North and it’s nice to see the crowds back after last year. It has something for everyone – first-class facilities, and fantastic horses in action."

Dods also has two runners at the York Festival on Saturday – Brunch in the Group 3 Sky Bet And Symphony Group Strensall Stakes and Blackrod in the Sky Bet Apprentice Handicap.

  • Main picture: Dakota Gold being led round by Aidan Redpath this morning. Inset: Que Amoro with Rachel Taylor this morning