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Key questions and quotes as Persuasion bids to remain unbeaten in Acomb Stakes

Tattersalls Acomb Stakes | Group 3 | 7f | 2yo | ITV/RTV

When Charlie Hills has a runner in the Acomb, it is worth paying attention.

The trainer has had two runners since 2014, with Dutch Connection and last year Phoenix Of Spain winning for the yard.

With Phoenix Of Spain going on to Classic glory in this season's Irish 2,000 Guineas and Dutch Connection establishing himself as a multiple Group-race winner, the bar set for this year's representative, Persuasion, is a high one.

A debut winner at Goodwood, Persuasion may have scored by only half a length, but it was a performance of some merit as the juvenile managed to extricate himself from the ruck before pulling clear for a comfortable success.

Hills has been pleased with the son of Acclamation since his debut victory and said: "He’s come out of his race at Goodwood in great form, and those who ride him at home say he feels like he has come on for it. He’s a lovely horse and is an exciting prospect."

Not since 2000 has there been an Irish-trained winner of the Acomb, when Aidan O'Brien was successful with Hemingway. 

While he is represented with the most experienced runner in the field, Harpocrates, the betting suggests son Joseph saddles the more likely winner.

Joseph O'Brien is sending over Vitalogy, who won a Naas maiden on debut last month, with Harpocrates back in third.

The trainer said: "He's in good form. He won his maiden well and this looks a hot race but we are quite hopeful of a good run from him."

On Harpocrates, Aidan O'Brien added: "Harpocrates is in good form. He was a little bit lazy the way he raced at Tipperary and we are trying him with blinkers as we felt they might just help him to concentrate a little bit better. We're happy with him."

Like Persuasion, Cobra Eye was a winner at Goodwood when just holding off Fuwayrit in a six furlong maiden.

That form is working out well, with Fuwayrit and fourth-placed Impressor winning on their next outings.

With entries in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes and Darley Dewhurst Stakes, Cobra Eye is held in some regard by connections, and trainer John Quinn said: "He won well at Goodwood and we feel the extra furlong won't be lost on him. It's a competitive race but he's entitled to be in there. It's a step up in class but he's a nice horse."

Good ground is expected for day one of the Ebor meeting at York with just a couple of showers forecast over the course of the week according to clerk of the course William Derby.

"We’ve had 12.6mm of rain over the past seven days, and 0.6mm on Monday evening," he said. "The forecast for Wednesday is a predominantly fine start to the day with the chance of a shower scuttling through the afternoon.

"There is a high possibility of rain Wednesday night, but from Thursday onwards it should be brighter and warmer. So we’re in for a nice week."

Parts of Yorkshire have been subject to floods due to heavy rain and the rising of the River Ouse, which runs through York, but the racecourse was unaffected by those conditions.

Derby added: "There is good ground and the rainfall we had earlier this month has resulted in plenty of moisture in the soil, but there was no dramatic rain in York itself. The ground is drying out slowly so there are lovely racing conditions."

George Margarson, trainer of Ropey Guest
He's already shown form at Group 2 level. Last time at Ascot he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got stuck in a poor position in a slowly-run race. He's come on a lot every time he's run and looks to be improving. The track and ground should suit and if he runs to his Ascot form he should be bang in the first three.

William Haggas is two from three with his juvenile runners at the course this season, and bids to improve that record with Ethich, who was a winner at Salisbury last time out

Richard Fahey, trainer of Valdermoro
We do like him and he's done nothing wrong. He's got to step up again and let's hope he can.

Adam Ryan, son and assistant to Kevin Ryan, trainer of Yorkshire Gold
He overcame quite a bit of greenness to win at Leicester. The step up in trip should suit and he should have learned a lot from debut. It's quite an open-looking race and we'll learn a lot. Hopefully he can run a big race.

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