sport

Maarek given York go ahead

Maarek has been given the go-ahead to run in the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes on Wednesday.

The seven-year-old son of Pivotal is one of 23 confirmations for the Group Two over six furlongs, but he must shoulder a penalty for his Prix de l'Abbaye triumph last autumn.

County Tipperary trainer Evanna McCutcheon is buoyed by the prospect of a prolonged spell of wet weather which has been forecast to hit York over the next week.

She said: "He loves ease in the ground, so the more rain, the better.

"The plan is to come to York and Declan McDonogh to ride him.

"He was in a race in Longchamp this Sunday (Prix de Saint-Georges), but it came down to penalties and conditions.

"We just decided, what with the prize-money, it wasn't really worth it and to wait for York."

Maarek, who finished fifth in the race last year, could be joined in the final line-up by compatriot Darwin.

Aidan O'Brien's inmate holds a clutch of big-race summer entries, but has not been sighted since he was turned over at short odds at the Curragh last September.

The four-year-old colt would be reverting to a sprint trip for the first time since his juvenile days in America.

The established sprint brigade will again be out in full force, with the likes of Es Que Love, Hawkeyethenoo, Jack Dexter, Tropics and Ladies Are Forever all confirmed.

Astaire, trained by Kevin Ryan, is the only three-year-old still in contention.