05/09/2010 11:00PM

Aviate to get distance test at York


York begins its three-day classic trial May Meeting on Wednesday when the undefeated Aviate tests the English Oaks waters in the Group 3, $97,000 Musidora Stakes. Aviate, a filly trained by Henry Cecil, made it 2 for 2 at Ascot on April 28 when she took a one-mile conditions race, but there are some doubts about her ability to get much further than a mile. She is a Dansili full sister to Early March, who won the seven-furlong, Group 3 Prix La Rochette as a 2-year-old but who never ran beyond a mile. Eddie Ahern will ride.

Cabaret should be able to stay the 1 1/4-mile, 88 yards of the Musidora, as she is by Galileo. Trained by Aidan O'Brien, she won the seven-furlong, Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown last summer, but was a distant last of 11 in the one-mile, Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac last time on Oct. 4. Red Fantasy has prospects off her second-place finish behind Marie de Medici in the listed 1 1/4-mile Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket on May 2.

In the six-furlong, Group 2, $150,000 Duke of York Stakes, Australian import Starspangledbanner will make his first start for Aidan O'Brien. A Southern Hemisphere 3-year-old, this son of Choisir will be giving away considerable weight on the scale, as he carries 138 pounds thanks to a pair of Australian Group 1 victories he scored when trained by Leon Corstens. Main Aim, a 5-year-old son of Oasis Dream trained by Michael Stoute who was second in the six-furlong, Group 1 July Cup last summer, is in with 133 pounds, while Showcasing, the lone Northern Hemisphere 3-year-old in the field of 12, carries just 123. Also a son of Oasis Dream, the John Gosden trainee was an impressive course-and-distance winner in taking the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes on Aug. 19 and ran well last time on Oct. 2 when a length third behind Awzaan in the six-furlong, Group 1 Middle Park Stakes.