Sussex-based Wonderful Tonight aims for glory at York
The highest-rated horse in training in Sussex returns to action this afternoon as Pulborough handler David Menuisier unleashes the exciting Wonderful Tonight in the £400,000 Yorkshire Oaks live from York Racecourse at 3.35pm.
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Wonderful Tonight, who is owned by music promoter Christopher Wright was a dual Group One winner last year, landing the Prix Vermeille and Qipco British Champions Fillies and Mares event at Ascot.
The four-year-old daughter of Le Havre has impressed on her two starts this term under William Buick. A smooth winner by a length and a half on her return to action at Royal Ascot in the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes, she relished the soft ground on that occasion, powering clear to see off Broome.
Wonderful Tonight then went to the Qatar Goodwood Festival and kept on resolutely over a demanding 14-furlongs to score by two lengths in the Group Two Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes. The trip looked to stretch Wonderful Tonight’s stamina on that occasion, but given her liking for soft ground, she stayed on strongly to score.
Menuisier’s long-term aim is the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and a trip to the Kanvesmire is now next up for the superstar. Wonderful Tonight will have to show her effectiveness on good ground with quick conditions expected at the track for Thursday’s contest.
She is the general 9/2 second favourite for this contest with Snowfall the 2/5 favourite for Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien. The three-year-old has won all three of her starts this term, with victory in the Musidora at York backed up with wins in the English and Irish Oaks. This race has been the long-term plan and she also gets weight from Wonderful Tonight.
Others who warrant a mention include Loving Dream (10/1) and Eshaada (10/1) who were first and second in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, whilst Albaflora (20/1) is another contender to note having chased home Wonderful Tonight when third at Glorious Goodwood last time out.
The seven runners are completed by Snowfall’s stable companions Divinely (33/1) and La Joconde (100/1)