Homage flickered encouragingly in the Cambridgeshire last month and appears a stand-out contender for victory on a good card at York.
William Haggas’ four-year-old is perhaps not the most reliable of fellows, but he should be good enough to take the Stan James-sponsored handicap over eight and a half furlongs.
The gelded son of Acclamation has always threatened to win a big prize, but he has hitherto never quite been able to carry it through.
Despite having won on his seasonal bow at Haydock last year, for instance, Homage largely struggled in 2013 and was transferred from out of Jeremy Noseda’s stables and into the care of Haggas.
The switch brought with it an immediate response as he galloped two and a half lengths in a fair race over this trip at Windsor in April.
Homage was then tapped for toe a little over a mile at Kempton, but he served notice in the Cambridgeshire that the handicapper does not yet quite have his measure.
Haggas must have been heartened by his 10th-placed finish at Newmarket, where he was beaten six lengths by Bronze Angel after having endured a fair bit of jousting for position inside the final furlong.
With Ryan Moore at the helm for this engagement, the signs looks promising, especially as North Yorkshire is forecast to miss much of the rain which has afflicted large chunks of the nation this week.
Long Awaited is not a horse in which to place implicit trust, but he has enough about him to end a long losing run in the Bell Trailers Stakes.
David Barron’s six-year-old has not won since August 2012, but that does not give an accurate assessment of his worth as the son of Pivotal continually shows up well in decent handicaps and is never usually beaten far.
A drop or two of rain would certainly not dampen enthusiasm, but he is equally adept on good ground and remains reasonably handicapped if that Haydock spin can help to stoke the fires of intent.
* Selections -
YORK: 2.00 Acolyte, 2.30 Long Awaited, 3.00 HOMAGE (NAP), 3.30 Quintus Cerialis, 4.05 Ardlui, 4.40 Storm Rock, 5.10 Showboating.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.45 Ashkari, 6.20 Atalanta Bay, 6.50 Sleepy Blue Ocean, 7.20 Kubeba, 7.50 Master Zephyr, 8.20 Excilly, 8.50 Bogsnog, 9.20 Black Dave.
CARLISLE: 2.10 Wyfield Rose, 2.40 Voyage A New York, 3.10 Water Garden, 3.45 Dark Glacier, 4.20 Rolling Maul, 4.50 Final Assault, 5.20 Innis Shannon.
NEWTON ABBOT: 2.20 Gaelic Myth, 2.50 Turn Over Sivola, 3.20 Any Given Day, 3.55 Taquin Du Seuil, 4.30 Barton Rose, 5.00 Tuskar Rock, 5.30 More Buck’s.
DUNDALK: 5.40 General Marshall, 6.10 Mansuri, 6.40 Lady Mandeville, 7.10 Bleu Ciel Et Rouge, 7.40 Slipper Orchid, 8.10 Havelock Ellis, 8.40 Broadway Musical, 9.10 Shadagann.
DOUBLE: Homage and Long Awaited.