Cougar Mountain can spring a minor surprise and claim Group One glory in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, the highlight of the third day of the Ebor meeting at York.
The three-year-old made quite an impression on jockey Joseph O’Brien when winning his maiden at Naas by five lengths in June, with the Ballydoyle rider immediately proclaiming him a potential Group One winner.
His assertion would surely have raised a few eyebrows but his trainer-father, Aidan, duly set his sights at the highest level, pitching Cougar Mountain into the July Cup at Newmarket.
Sent off a 16-1 chance, the Fastnet Rock colt posted an excellent performance in finishing a three-length fifth behind top dog Slade Power and three more experienced rivals on ground that was probably softer than ideal.
His maiden win came on quick ground so clearly he can handle a range of conditions - a factor which could become crucial with a mixed forecast for the rest of the week on the Knavesmire.
The step back to the minimum trip is something of a question mark, but O’Brien jnr insists he can be effective anywhere between five furlongs and a mile and with slight question marks over the likes of favourite Sole Power, Cougar Mountain could have the chance to step into the spotlight.
Cavalryman has certainly recaptured his old sparkle this term and he can back up his recent Goodwood Cup win with victory in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup.
Rerouted should relish the drop back to seven furlongs in the Sky Bet City of York Stakes after failing to see out a mile at Salisbury last time.
Formerly trained by Charlie Hills, the six-year-old is now in the care of Mike de Kock and he enjoyed a fair campaign in Dubai during the winter, winning two decent handicaps as well as being far from disgraced in Group company.
FFOS LAS: 1.45 L’Etacq, 2.20 Canova, 2.55 Ramshackle, 3.30 Peace Seeker, 4.05 Lava Lamp, 4.40 Prince Tom, 5.15 Barton Stacey, 5.45 Kayalar.
GOODWOOD: 5.10 Lucky Di, 5.40 Dartmouth, 6.15 Arethusa, 6.45 Momayyaz, 7.20 Moscato, 7.50 Wordismybond.
HAMILTON: 5.30 Smart Stepper, 6.05 Bearskin, 6.35 Klynch, 7.05 Wee Frankie, 7.40 Mistiroc, 8.10 Perfect Words.
KILBEGGAN: 4.45 Millie Le Bach, 5.20 Mizyen, 5.50 She’s A Leader, 6.20 Behemoth, 6.50 Mallards In Flight, 7.25 Red Or White, 7.55 Steel Wave.
KILLARNEY: 5.00 Fields Of May, 5.35 Illusive, 6.10 Diylawa, 6.40 Waver, 7.15 Macbride, 7.45 Xsquared, 8.15 He Is Top Class.
NEWCASTLE: 4.50 De Lesseps, 5.25 Scarlet Bounty, 5.55 Invoke, 6.25 Madrasa, 6.55 Jay Kay, 7.30 Ella’s Delight, 8.00 Better Chance.
NEWMARKET: 1.35 Illogical, 2.10 Angel Vision, 2.45 Crafty Choice, 3.20 Keep Up, 3.55 Hostile Fire, 4.30 Frederic, 5.05 Amood, 5.35 Majestic Song.
YORK: 1.55 Satellite, 2.30 Cavalryman, 3.05 Rerouted, 3.40 COUGAR MOUNTAIN (NAP), 4.20 Dissolution, 4.55 Maverick Wave.
DOUBLE: Cougar Mountain and Cavalryman.