sport

York option for Es Que Love

The Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes could be the next port of call for Es Que Love following his excellent debut run for Clive Cox.

The five-year-old has been a fine servant to trainer Mark Johnston in recent seasons, but has switched yards for the new campaign and the move does not appear to have done him any harm judged on his close second behind Hamza in the Abernant Stakes.

Although most of his best efforts have come in handicap company, Cox sees no reason why his new recruit can not make his presence felt at the highest level this term.

Cox said: "I was delighted with the run and I'm as pleased as punch he seems to have come out of the race really well.

"He'd been giving us all the positive signs since he arrived and we hoped he'd run well at Newmarket.

"He's the sort of horse that's a joy to have anything to do with and I'm very pleased to have another quality sprinter in the yard.

"The way he ran and travelled the other day, I would be drawn towards the Duke of York, but we'll see how things go.

"We think we can aim for all those top-class sprints and he's capable of being competitive."

After losing his two Group One winning sprinters Reckless Abandon and Lethal Force to stud at the end of last season, the new campaign heralds a new era for the Lambourn-based trainer.

Reckless Abandon is due to return to action after suffering fertility problems, but will run for Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby.

"It will be good to see him back, but I think we'll be avoiding him as much as possible," said Cox.

Assessing his own string, the trainer said: "There are a lot of new faces this year and a lot of unraced horses, so it's just about trying to get some momentum.

"Hopefully we have a nice team, the horses are running well at the moment and we're looking forward to the year ahead."