08/19/2009 12:00AM

Kingsgate Native looks to hold off youngster


Two years ago, Kingsgate Native won the five-furlong Nunthorpe Stakes, beating older horses as a 2-year-old. Third in the race last year, the Michael Stoute-trained son of Mujadil will start as the favorite for the Group 1, $397,000 dash Friday, closing day of York's four-day Ebor Meeting. His main challenger could be the juvenile Radiohead.

Kingsgate Native also won last year's six-furlong, Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and was recently the 2 3/4-length winner of Goodwood's five-furlong, Group 3 King George Stakes. He and rider Ryan Moore will spot Radiohead 24 pounds in the Nunthorpe, an advantage Kingsgate Native used to defeat Desert Lord in the 2007 Nunthorpe.

A Brian Meehan-trained son of Johannesburg, Radiohead overcame a bad bumping to take the five-furlong, Group 2 Norfolk Stakes by two lengths at Royal Ascot last time on June 18. Martin Dwyer will be in the saddle as Radiohead attempts to become the Nunthorpe's sixth juvenile winner since 1953.

Last year's winner, Borderlescott, was 4 1/4 lengths fourth as the favorite in Kingsgate Native's King George, while Group 3 Palace House Stakes winner Amour Propre was 10th in the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

There is value in the 25-1 Benbaun. A six-time group-race winner at the Curragh, the 8-year-old son of Stravinsky won the Group 2 King's Stand over the course and distance when Royal Ascot was held at York in 2005. Also the winner of the five-furlong, Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp in 2007, Benbaun broke an 11-race losing streak on June 28 in the five-furlong, Group 3 Sapphire Stakes. In a significant rider change, trainer Kevin Ryan will give Johnny Murtagh a leg up.

Post time for the Nunthorpe, which will be telecast on HRTV, is 10:25 a.m. Eastern.

* At York on Wednesday, Showcasing impressed in winning the Group 2, $231,000 Gimcrack Stakes. Trained by John Gosden for Khalid Abdullah, the 2-1 son of Oasis Dream won the six-furlong dash by two lengths from Taajub, with Group 3 Molecomb Stakes winner Monsieur Chevalier third, a half-length farther back.

Showcasing's time on good-to-firm ground was 1:09.82, or 1.32 seconds better than the track record for 2-year-olds. He will attempt to emulate his sire with a victory in the six-furlong, Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Oct. 2.