Liber Nauticus: has raced just once in a September maiden at Goodwood
Nauticus puts her Oaks credentials to the test
YORK'S three-day Dante meeting kicks off on Wednesday with Liber Nauticus set to put her Investec Oaks credentials on display in the six-runner Group 3 Tattersalls Musidora Stakes.
The ante-post favourite for the fillies' Epsom Classic throughout the winter months, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained filly has seen the racecourse just once when running out a clear-cut winner of her Goodwood maiden.
Peter Reynolds, manager of owners Ballymacoll Stud, said: "I've spoken to Sir Michael [Stoute] and he says Liber Nauticus is very well. I am looking forward to her first run of the year, but it's a Group 3 and she will have to step up to the plate."
The Musidora has long been one of the more significant Oaks trial, with last year's winner The Fugue going on to finish third at Epsom, while it was as recently as 2009, in the form of Sariska, that the trial threw up the winner.
Of more interest to punters, given the rather prohibitive 4-5 offered about Liber Nauticus, will be the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics, a Group 2 sprint over six furlongs, with bookmakers going 9-2 the field.
The Roger Charlton-trained Mince, chasing a five-timer, heads a market that also includes Group 1 winners Society Rock and Gordon Lord Byron.
Charlton said: "She looks very well, but I am sure there will be further improvement in what I hope will be a long and successful season. If the ground turned very soft I would consider re-routing her to the Temple Stakes at Haydock."
The going at York has gone from good to firm to good to soft, good in places following 16mm of rain overnight.