The Dante Festival at York draws to a close on Friday afternoon but it doesn't go quietly thanks to the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup taking centre stage on the Knavesmire.
Eight horses have been declared for one of the key staying races of the flat season and with the Ascot Gold Cup fast approaching next month, it should gives us some final clues ahead of the royal meeting.
The John Gosden trained Stradivarius is expected to start as the one to beat on his first start since finishing 3rd on Champions Day last October, with Frankie Dettori booked to ride the Queens Vase winner.
Willie Mullins will once again be relying on his brilliant dual purpose horse Max Dynamite to do the job with Ryan Moore on board, although he will need to bounce back from two below par runs in the spring over the sticks. The Champion Irish Trainer also has Wicklow Brave entered who is a Grade 1 winner over hurdles at his best but he too will need to improve on recent form to have any chance at this level.
Count Octave has had the benefit of two runs already this term and could be in the mix, whilst Desert Skyline rarely runs a bad race for David Elsworth and will be the mount of Champion Jockey Silvestre De Sousa.
2015 winner Clever Cookie is always a popular horse from the front and might attract each-way money, but at the age of ten there is a feeling his best days are now behind him.
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