sport

Reason set for Dash to Line

View from connections ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Dash at York.

Paul Midgley's prolific sprinter Line Of Reason aims to continue his sensational run of form as he returns to York for Saturday's fiercely competitive Skybet Dash.

The four-year-old failed to make an impact on his first couple of starts this year, but the arrival of summer has seen him raise his game significantly.

Since snapping a losing run dating back over a year at Thirsk in the middle of June, Line Of Reason has plundered a valuable handicap at the Curragh and completed a hat-trick back over five furlongs on the Knavesmire two weeks ago.

With the spell of warm weather showing no sign of ending, Midgley's speedster is likely to encounter his favoured fast conditions again this weekend and the Westow handler is anticipating another bold show.

Midgley said: "We're looking forward to running him again. He seems in really good form.

"The form of his win at York a fortnight ago has worked out well and he looks to have a decent draw (stall 13). All the fancied horses are drawn around him.

"He's been excellent this year already, to be honest, so he doesn't owe us anything, but anything else he can pick up will be gratefully received.

"If you'd asked me last backend I would have been surprised with what he's achieved so far this year, but he did an exceptional piece of work with Monsieur Joe before he won at York's May meeting, so I was hopeful then he'd have a good year.

"The great thing about him is he's a horse with a high cruising speed and he's got gears when he needs them."

The only Irish-trained runner in the 20-strong field is David Marnane's Zalty, who was narrowly touched off by Line Of Reason in last month's Scurry at the Curragh.

Marnane said: "He's in good nick and we were delighted with how he ran the last day from a poor draw.

"I'm not sure his draw on Saturday (stall two) is a whole lot better. I'm not sure but I think most of the pace is higher, but we'll give it a go and see what happens.

"I think he's come on a good bit for his last run - obviously he'll need to.

"It's a typically competitive English sprint handicap, but hopefully he has a chance and it would be great to win for his owner, Saeed Al Tayer, who is the chairman of Meydan."

The Mick Easterby-trained Hoof It won this race three years ago before going on to clinch the Stewards' Cup at Glorious Goodwood.

Now a seven-year-old, the gelding does not appear the force of old judged on his recent run in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, but connections are hopeful he can bounce back.

David Easterby, the trainer's son and assistant, said: "Hoof It wasn't quite right after Ascot and he has needed all the time between then and now for us to get him right.

"He seems fine now and we're hoping it will be a nice prep run for Goodwood, as it was three years ago.

"We also run Ancient Cross, who has been a great servant. He's had a bit of time off since his last run and it's nice to get him out again."

Kimberella is a fascinating contender for sprint king Dandy Nicholls.

The four-year-old has won twice since switching yards this season, most recently bolting up at Chester, and the trainer's son and jockey Adrian Nicholls is confident about his chances this weekend.

He said: "It took us a while to get to know him and I think we ran him back a bit quick there ea rlier in the season and he disappointed.

"I was delighted with him at Chester and even though it's a much more competitive race on Saturday, I think if he reproduces that run he'll run a massive race. He's a horse who travels strongly in his races, so a track like York will suit him perfectly.

"He's a horse who I've thought had a big handicap in him since we got him and I definitely wouldn't swap him for anything else in the race on Saturday."

Foxtrot Romeo is feasibly handicapped on his form of a couple of years ago and has hinted at a revival with placed efforts at York and Newcastle the last twice.

Marco Botti has trained the five-year-old since the start of this season and said: "I'm not saying he's back to his career best, he was second in an Irish Guineas, but his last two runs have been encouraging.

"We discussed it with the owner and we started him this year over a mile. He has shown plenty of speed so we decided to bring him back in trip and we will now try him over six furlongs and see how he goes.

"Even last time he showed plenty of speed over seven and travelled well, so it's not impossible as he's getting older and stronger that he has more speed than we initially thought."