Top Trip tipped for Knavesmire

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Francois Doumen can make a rare foray to York pay dividends as he fields Top Trip in the Qipco Yorkshire Cup.

The French raider is trying to make the transition to the staying ranks after showing some useful form in middle-distance heats in 2012.

Winner of the Prix Hocquart, one of the leading French Derby trials, last May, Top Trip had to settle for fifth in the main event after failing to match the speed of the placed horses.

Upped to a mile and a half the next time, Top Trip again had to be content with minor money in a thoroughly unsatisfactory renewal of the Grand Prix de Paris.

Another narrow near-miss followed at Deauville and a frustrating season culminated in a disappointing effort over a mile and seven furlongs on testing ground at Longchamp on Arc weekend.

Top Trip was probably just feeling the effects of a long season that day, having kicked off his campaign in March, and he turned in a much better effort on his 2013 return.

While only sixth in the Prix d’Harcourt, the form is working out pretty well, with the winner placed at Group One level and the runner-up having since struck in Group Two company.

Top Trip’s ability to stay must be taken on trust as we learned little at Longchamp last autumn, but he is an intriguing runner in what looks a reasonably open event.

Pearl Sea can prove she stays a mile with victory in the Blade Amenity Fillies’ Stakes.

A winner over six furlongs as a juvenile, she finished just a length adrift of Masarah on her first attempt at eight furlongs at Ascot earlier this month. Given the winner has since gone on to be beaten just over five lengths in the 1000 Guineas, the form appears to be pretty strong.

Sir John Hawkwood makes a quick reappearance in the Jorvik Stakes following his win at Chester last week.

He looked a classy performer that day and despite being saddled with a penalty here, a quick-fire double for Sir Michael Stoute looks likely.