sport

Ambivalent's Middleton bid

Last year's runner-up Ambivalent heads a field of nine fillies and mares in the Betfred Middleton Stakes at York on Thursday.

Roger Varian's five-year-old, who won a Group One on the Curragh last year, was last seen arguably running a career-best in Dubai when third against the boys in the Sheema Classic.

Ralph Beckett's Secret Gesture was placed in three Group Ones last season after winning the Lingfield Oaks Trial and returns to action as a four-year-old.

Just behind Secret Gesture in the Oaks last year was Michael Bell's The Lark, who subsequently landed the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster, a race which means she has to carry a penalty in the Middleton.

Roger Charlton's Thistle Bird was only narrowly touched off in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood last summer and she remains in training as a six-year-old.

The Paul Cole-trained Gifted Girl is also a consistent type and made a satisfactory reappearance in the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month.

Sir Michael Stoute's Mango Diva was an improver last season, while the Karl Burke-trained Odeliz represents Yorkshire.

Quiz Mistress and Sinaadi complete the field.