THERE is a lot more than the usual cross-Pennine pride at stake when Yorkshire travel to Old Trafford to meet biggest foes Lancashire in the Friends Life T20 tomorrow night.
Yorkshire are currently propping up the Northern Group while Lancashire top the table, one of only two counties unbeaten at this stage of the competition.
Both have business to deal with beforehand with Yorkshire taking on Worcestershire and Lancashire hosting Leicestershire tonight.
Yorkshire are 4/7 to gain their first T20 win of the season with Worcestershire 11/8 while Lancashire also 4/7 with Leicestershire 11/8.
A triumph for the White Rose on Friday will certainly have a lot of people smiling the following afternoon at York where a strong card of racing will take place.
There is no question that Antigua Sunrise (2.10) hit the front too soon in the Queen Mother’s Cup at York last year and, despite being 3lbs higher this year, Richard Fahey’s five-year-old mare can make a bold bid on Saturday in a race she looks to have been laid out for again.
Luck in running will always play their part in races for lady amateur riders’ but this dual C&D winner must go close in a race where Fahey has four of the 30 five-day entries.
Desert Law was clear of the third when just failing to make a winning reappearance at Newmarket in a valuable 3-y-o handicap on Guineas day.
The fact that he has been raised 6lbs for that narrow defeat makes life more difficult and he only meets the winner Majestic Myles on 1lb better terms.
The obvious danger is recent Ripon winner Elusive Prince who escapes a penalty for that success but, at the time of writing, he is not guaranteed to get into the race and Godolphin’s Ahtoug is another who merits serious consideration in a terrific race.
Mashaaref (3.50) was arguably fortunate to beat Maali at Nottingham last time, but that colt ran very well behind the progressive Alkimos at Doncaster last week.