Clever Cookie could provide Peter Niven with Knavesmire double

Graham Lee wins the Stakes on Clever Cookie at the Dante Festival in York

Graham Lee wins the Stakes on Clever Cookie at the Dante Festival in York

First published in Sport
Last updated

CLEVER COOKIE could be looking to double his Ryedale trainer Peter Niven's tally at York Racecourse on Saturday.

The six-year-old, who has won seven of his ten starts on the level and over hurdles, claimed the opening race of the Dante Festival on Knavesmire earlier the month - beating Tres Coronas by three-quarters of a length in the Stakes.

It was former jump jockey Niven's first ever winner at his local track and his prolific horse may bid to strike again quickly at York's Spring Meeting for the Barton-le-Street saddler.

Clever Cookie is entered for the Listed Stowe Family Law LLP Grand Cup - over the Ebor distance of a mile and three quarters - and looks sure to meet a top-quality field.

Last year's Ebor winner Tiger Cliff, who finished third in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup, is among 28 entries and his owner, Henry Ponsonby, could also be represented by course winner First Mohican.

The six-year-old, trained by the renowned National Hunt specialist Alan King, was third in the Listed Aston Stakes at Newbury earlier in the month.

Sir Michael Stoute is set to send out his high class filly Wailia, a winner of the Listed Aphrodite stakes and a good fifth in the Ribblesdale at the Royal meeting, while Nawton handler David O'Meara may bid to keep the prize in the county with Repeater.

With more than £160,000 on offer across a seven race card, it is no surprise that a host of winners from the first three days of the York season are set to return to once again try their luck.

Impressive Dante Festival winner Dusky Queen, who beat Subtle Knight by a neck in a fillies race on the final day, is one of two possible representatives for Musley Bank trainer Richard Fahey in the £25,000 Whixley Stakes - the other being former Lincoln Handicap winner Brae Hill.

Monsieur Joe, who provided Westow trainer Paul Midgley with his first York winner in three years when taking the Jack Berry House Stakes on May 15 as a 25-1 outsider, may be back in the £50,000 Betbright Trophy.

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