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‘Talented’ Nostrum makes Mile return at Sandown

‘Talented’ Nostrum makes Mile return at Sandown
‘Talented’ Nostrum makes Mile return at Sandown

Nostrum is out to prove he remains a high-class prospect when he makes his return in the bet365 Mile at Sandown on Friday.

The one-time Classic hope endured a frustrating three-year-old campaign and having missed the first half of the season due to a setback, made a winning reappearance in Newmarket’s Listed Sir Henry Cecil Stakes.

However, that was the sole bright moment for the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt, who got stuck in the mud when second in Goodwood’s Thoroughbred Stakes before finishing lame when the odds-on favourite at York in the Strensall Stakes, after which his season was brought to a halt.

The son of Kingman is now back to correct a few records and after pleasing his connections in the lead-up to his reappearance, has the chance to give his handler a fourth win in the Group Two event.

Nostrum was once seen as a Classic contender
Nostrum was once seen as a Classic contender (Mike Egerton/PA)

“He’s in good shape and has had a good winter, so it will be exciting to see him back and what he can do,” said Barry Mahon, European racing manager for owners Juddmonte.

“He has won at Sandown before and that is a plus, we know he likes the track and it will be good to see him back. He’s been slightly frustrating, but we know he’s talented, so it would be nice to see it on the track.

“He’s had a pretty unremarkable prep leading into it, he’s been sound and moving well and the team there have been happy. Ryan Moore was happy last Wednesday when he rode him and it seems to have gone smoothly this spring, whereas last year we had setbacks and were always on the backfoot.

“Hopefully the ground will be good and we get to see the true Nostrum.”

John and Thady Gosden’s stalwart Lord North will drop back to a mile having failed to land a fourth straight Dubai Turf at Meydan last month.

Lord North will be ridden by William Buick at Sandown
Lord North will be ridden by William Buick at Sandown (Megan Ridgwell/PA)

The Clarehaven eight-year-old has not raced over this distance since finishing second in the Balmoral Handicap in 2019, but has become a regular figure in the biggest events over middle distances since that contest.

Roger Varian’s Charyn regularly hit the frame without getting his moment in the spotlight last term, but got the new campaign off to the perfect start when striking in the Doncaster Mile on the opening day of the Flat turf season.

He now makes the move into deeper waters and his Carlburg Stables handler warns he will need to improve to match his exploits on Town Moor.

Varian said: “He’s in good form and the race on Friday will require a bit more winning than Doncaster, it’s a strong, select field, I think.

“It’s a very solid Group Two, but the track, trip and ground should suit him and he goes there in good form.”

Charyn delivered a telling blow at Doncaster
Charyn delivered a telling blow at Doncaster (Nigel French/PA)

Poker Face claimed the scalp of the reopposing Flight Plan in Pontefract’s Pomfret Stakes last year, a victory that kick-started a three-race winning run for Simon and Ed Crisford’s representative.

His streak came to an end in Italy in November, but he reappears as the second best runner in the field on official figures, rated just 2lb inferior to Lord North.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned Flight Plan ended his three-year-old season on a high when claiming the Group Two Dullingham Park Stakes at Leopardstown and will have sharpened up thanks to a racecourse gallop at Newmarket during the Craven meeting.

Hungerford Stakes winner Witch Hunter represents the in-form Richard Hannon team, with Charlie Hills’ Pogo completing the line-up.

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