Dubai: Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp will be hoping that Moviesta can live up to his showy moniker and give him his biggest victory as a racehorse owner in Friday’s £250,000 (Dh1.43 million) Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, the showpiece on day three of York’s Ebor Festival.
A progressive three-year-old by American Triple Crown challenger Hard Spun, Moviesta earned his right to contest one of the Autumn sprint highlights when storming to victory in the Group 2 King George Stakes over five furlongs at Goodwood three weeks ago.
Trained by Bryan Smart, the colt takes on several accomplished sprinters led by South African star Shea Shea and 2010 winner Sole Power, the winner of seven races over Friday’s distance including the King’s Stand Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot in June.
Redknapp, who acquired Moviesta as a two-year-old last season, is bidding to follow in the footsteps of former British football entrepreneurs like Alex Ferguson and Michael Owen, who have enjoyed much success with their purchases of racehorses.
Trained by Dubai Racing Carnival regular Mike de Kock, Shea Shea was narrowly denied victory at Royal Ascot, where he was beaten a quarter of a length by Ed Lynam’s Sole Power.
The pair clashed twice in Dubai earlier in the year with Shea Shea winning on both occasions — the Listed Meydan Sprint and the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint.
Other notable contenders include the John Gosden-trained Swiss Spirit and July Cup third Slade Power.
The Nunthorpe is one of few races in which two-year-old horses can compete against their elders. The most recent juvenile to win the race was Kingsgate Native, who reopposed on Friday, when successful in 2007. It is also the only Group 1 race in Great Britain open to two-year-old geldings.
Also well-known as Ladies Day, there are six races in all including the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup over 2 miles and the Strensall Stakes won last year by Godolphin’s Dubai Prince.